Posted on June 14, 2021 by Jason Wright Research can mean a lot of things to different people. For the purposes of this article, I’m not talking about researching design styles. This time, we’re talking about data: demographics, analytics, trends and more. When data is in the hands of the right person, it becomes a powerful tool to build out a product or service in a way that’s tailored for their exact target audience. We’re going to dig into the mindset of millennials, because, well they make up a majority of the workforce today. As they age up, millennials are inching closer to running the world. Knowing the Audience When you know and love your audience, you can create the appropriate experience tailored to their expectations. In an age where the importance of privacy is greater than its ever been, you should consider that 61% of millennials are happy to share personal data if it leads to a more personalized experience (source). Millennials want stuff quickly, like right now. 66% expect real-time responses and interactions! That’s a massive amount of people! From a design standpoint, this audience loves a balance between function and aesthetics. They like stuff that’s fast and easy and they love seeing strong statements about your culture and support of local or global social initiatives. Above all else, millennials love minimalistic branding. This is why so many logos look basic and simple. In this age, less is more. This is also why you see more and more sites with less content and more video or other striking visuals. This knowledge = power. It takes you or your team outside of your own bias so you can focus on the needs of the audience. Putting It Together Now that we have a little bit of research it’s time to produce assets that align with the research you’ve collected. In terms of Web design, you’re looking at lots of white space, big graphics, custom graphic design, video, and animations….but, you need to do all this without forcing services/products too hard. Here’s an example of a website I designed in 2007. Here’s an example of a website I designed in 2021. They are worlds apart. Decades apart even …. Dang time flies by amiright? Anyway, while we’re comfortable sticking to “things that work”. Those things often don’t last in a fast-moving and tech-savvy world. If you search Instagram for web design ideas you’ll be hit with a huge array of extremely unique designs. The problem is that they aren’t very practical for your average business. A giant image of a fish in an ocean on a no-scroll home page might look cool, but that’s not exactly a great route to go because while millennials love minimalism, they also just want to get to the point immediately. Creating too much of a “show” could potentially hurt your conversion rates (unless you’re a well-established brand). Here are some takeaways: Design with minimalism in mind, but don’t let that dictate every design decision. Always make design decisions based on audience needs. Don’t be afraid to try something funky, just don’t do anything too wild. Review data from Google Trends and Google Analytics to paint a picture of the users who interact with the site/brand today. Understand the demographic in relation to device usage (mobile vs desktop) Look for opportunities to remove extra clicks and friction. Make interactions easy and accessible. Highlight DEI where applicable, and do it authentically. These are just a handful of tips to help you navigate a world where simple design with complex ideas can help shape the user journey and build a brand. As always thank you for reading and I’ll see you again soon.