Note: this Post appears here in both English and Maori. I’ve used different fonts and colours to differentiate the 2 languages and hopefully make it easier to read.
What’s the most important part of your website? Is it the Home Page? The Contact Form? The list of services and activities?
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata. (What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people. — Maori proverb.)
The answer is: No; it’s the people, the visitors.
Whether you call them clients, community, members, customers, volunteers, students, audience, general public, or just plain ‘visitors’, it’s the people your website is created for who are the most important part of your site.
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.
He aha te wāhi tino hira o tō paetukutuku? Ko tō Whārangi Kāinga? Te Puka Whakapā? Te rārangi o ngā ratonga me ngā mahi?
Ko te whakautu ko: Kāo; ko ngā tāngata, ngā manuhiri.
Ahakoa karangatia rātou e koe he kiritaki, he hapori, he mema, he kaihoko, he tūao, he ākonga, he apataki, te iwi whānui, he ‘manuhiri’ noa iho rānei, ko ngā tāngata i hangaia ai tō paetukutuku mā rātou te wāhi tino hira o tō paetukutuku.
Plan for people
I’ve recently had several organisations ask me how much it’ll cost to create or overhaul their site. Their emails mention things like colour and design, sign-up forms, downloadable files, being able to easily edit the site, Google rankings, newsletters, donations, and so on.
What they never seem to mention are the two most fundamental questions of all:
- Who is the site for?
- What’s the purpose of the site?
In this Tip I want to explore the first, ‘people’, question.
Whakamaheretia mō te tangata.
Nō muri tata iho kua ui mai ētahi whakahaere ki a au ka hia te utu hei hangahōu, hei whakatikatika i tō rātou paetukutuku. Kōrero ai a rātou īmēra mō ngā take pēnei i te tae me te hoahoa, ngā puka haina-ake, ngā kōnae tikiake, te kaha whakatika ngāwari i te paetukutuku, ngā ripa Google, ngā puka pānui, ngā tākoha, arā atu anō.
Ko ngā mea kāhore rawa e kōrerotia e rātou ko ngā pātai tino taketake rawa e rua o te katoa:
- Mā wai tēnei paetukutuku?
- He aha te korou o te paetukutuku?
Hei tēnei Kupu Tohutohu e hiahia ana ahau kia toroa te pātai tuatahi, mō te ‘tangata’.
Your site is not for everyone
The first rule of any publication is: Who is it for? Who is the target audience? Who do you want to visit the site?
If your answer is ‘everybody’, the you need to think again. Are you really creating the website for both 1-month old babies and people over 50? Of course not. Apart from anything else, babies can’t read.
Think about the demographics of the people you’re trying to reach with the site:
- age groups
- primary languages
- education and literacy
- location — city, rural, remote, in New Zealand or overseas? Where? Will they access the site from home, work, on the road?
- financial standing — rich, poor, middling, struggling, desperate, prudent savers, wild spenders?
- technology — fast Internet? old computers? mobile phones? assistive devices?
- affiliations — are they members, potential members, board members, organisations who are a ‘hub’ for their members, researchers, academics?
- physical abilities — all websites need to cater for people with physical limitations, but does your site need an extra emphasis on one area? For example, if your visitors are older (eg over 50), they may prefer larger text.
Ehara mā te katoa tō paetukutuku.
Ko te whakaritenga tuatahi o tētahi whakaputanga ko: Mā wai tēnei? Ko wai mā te whāinga apataki? E hiahia ana koe kia toro mai ki tēnei paetukutuku a wai mā?
Ki te whakautu koe ‘ngā tāngata katoa’, kāti me whakaaro anō koe. Kei te hanga rawa koe i tētahi paetukutuku mā ngā pēpi kotahi-marama me ngā tāngata neke atu i te 50 ngā tau? E kore. I tua atu i tētahi mea kē, kāore te pēpi e pānui ana.
Whakaarohia ngā āhuatanga tāngata o te hunga e whai ana koe me te paetukutuku:
- rōpū pakeke
- ngā reo tuatahi
- ira tangata
- mātauranga me te mōhio ki te kōrero pukapuka, ki te tuhi
- tūwāhi — tāone nui, tuawhenua, tūhāhā, kei Aotearoa, kei tāwāhi rānei? Kei whea? Ka puta ki te paetukutuku i te kāinga, i te mahi, i te huarahi?
- tūranga taha ohaoha — tangata taonga, pōhara, kei waenga, kei te whakauaua, kei te awherokore, kaha ki te pena moni, kaha ki te whakapau moni?
- hangarau — Ipurangi horo? Rorohiko tawhito? Waea pūkoro? Taonga tuku āwhina?
- whakahoatanga — he mema rātou, he mema māia, he mema poari, he whakahaere ko rātou te ‘pokapū’ mō ā rātou mema, he kairangahau, he hunga mātauranga?
- āheitanga ōkiko — me whakaaro ngā paetukutuku katoa ki ngā tāngata whai hauātanga ōkiko, engari me arotahi pea tō paetukutuku ki tētahi wāhi tauwhāiti? Hei tauira, mēnā he taipakeke ō kaitorotoro (neke atu i te 50 hei tauira), tērā e hiahia pea rātou kia rahi ake te tuhinga.
One site may not be enough
If you absolutely must serve the needs of widely divergent groups, you may have to make more than one website.
For example, a site to help young kids give up or avoid illegal drugs would probably be incompatible with a site intended for researchers and academics about the issues. One site may be fun, busy, colourful, with games and so on, while the other would have a bank of downloadable papers, links to definitive resources, and the like.
Kāore pea e rawaka te paetukutuku kotahi.
Ki te mea me tino whakarato koe ki ngā hiahia a ngā rōpū tino rerekē rawa, tērā e tika pea kia hanga e koe neke atu i te paetukutuku kotahi.
Hei tauira, ko tētahi paetukutuku hei āwhina i ngā tamariki kia whakamutua, kia āraitia rānei te kainga i ngā rongoā whakananu turekore, ka kore pea e haere tahi me te paetukutuku mā ngā kairangahau me te hunga mātauranga mō ēnei take. He hākinakina pea, he kaha te mahi, he kanorau, he whai kēmu anō hoki tētahi paenga, i tētahi anō te whakaputu ana i ngā pepa tikiake, ngā hono ki ngā rauemi whakatūturu, me ngā mea pērā.
What do visitors want or need to know?
Create some profiles of ‘typical’ visitors. Name them. Remember to include ‘real’ people in your profile characteristics: people with poor vision, attention problems, sore wrists, migraines, memory loss, tiredness and so on.
Imagine your visitors actually using your website. What are they looking for? How do they work with your site? Are they looking for information, links, fun, networking, community, distraction, quiz answers, help, facts, inspiration?
Here’s the most important question: What do these visitors want or need to know?
It doesn’t matter very much what you want to tell them; what they want to know from your site is the crucial question.
He aha ngā mea e hiahia ana, e hiahiatia ana rānei kia mōhio ngā manuhiri?
Hangaia ētahi kōtaha o ngā manuhiri ‘pūnoa’. Whakaingoatia ēnei. Kia mahara ki te whakauru i ngā ‘tino’ tāngata ki ō āhuatanga kōtaha: te hunga āhua kāpō, kino te arotahi, kawititanga mamae, upoko ānini, hinengaro wareware, māuiui, arā atu anō.
Me pohewa i ō manuhiri e whakamahi ana i tō paetukutuku. E kimi ana rātou i te aha? Ka whakamahia pēheatia e rātou tō paetukutuku? Kei te rapa pārongo, hononga, whakangahau, whatunga, hapori, whakaware, whakautu pākiki, āwhina, meka, whakahiwanga hinengaro?
Tēnei anō te tino pātai: He aha ngā mea e hiahia ana, e hiahiatia ana rānei kia mōhio ēnei manuhiri?
Kāore e whaitake rawa he aha tāu e hiahia nā ki te kī atu ki a rātou; ko tā rātou e hiahia ana kia mōhio mai i tō paetukutuku te pātai hira.
Put the right people first
If you’re creating a new site, or overhauling an existing site, first focus on the visitors you want to reach. Consider in detail who they are, what their needs and wants are, and how they will interact with your site.
Only when you have a clear picture of your target audience can you move on to the second question: what’s the purpose of the site. That’s the topic of the next Panui Tip.
Meinga ko ngā tāngata i te tuatahi.
Mēnā kei te hanga paetukutuku hōu koe, kei te whakatikatika rānei i tētahi e tū ana, me arotahi tuatahi ki ngā manuhiri e hiahia ana koe kia taea. āta whakaarohia taipitopitotia ko wai rātou, he aha ngā mea e hiahia ana, e matea ana rātou, e pāheko pēhea hoki rātou ki tō paetukutuku.
Kia tino mārama te pikitia o tō whāinga apataki kātahi ka taea te neke ake ki te pātai tuarua: he aha te korou o te paetukutuku. Ko te take tēnā o te Kupu Tohutohu ka whai mai.
Credit: Photo by The_Smiths.
Written by Miraz Jordan for, and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, April 2010. This article has been modified for publication here. The New Zealand Translation Service provided the direct translations to CommunityNet Aotearoa.