Thirteenth Parallel /archive/who-are-we-designing-for/
In user centred design it is vital that we know who our audience is. This involves finding out what their requirements are and what they want from what you are designing. The end user's needs and wants will shape your design.
If you are designing a top end sports coupe there is no point putting a 1.1 litre engine in it. If you are designing a toothbrush you need to know how people brush their teeth. Similarly, when designing websites you need to think about who will be visiting your site.
Nearly every site on the Internet will have a different audience, and therefore different requirements. However, this month we decided to provide you with a break down of the world's Internet users; where they are from, what language they speak, how they are currently accessing the Internet and how this is set to change in the future.
Currently English is the dominant language on the web, however this is set to change. Current estimates reckon that by 2005 Mandarin (Chinese) users will outnumber English speakers. The table below shows a break down of the Internet population by language. The "other non-European" category includes languages such as 4.8 million Malay and 4.1 million Arabic. It should also be noted that the total population does not add up to the actual world population, it seems that the survey doesn't take into account many of the African nations and some of those in South East Asia.
|Language||People with Internet access (millions)||Total population (millions)||% of total Internet users||2003 estimate||% of world economy|
|World Total||513 million|
|Middle East||5 million|
|Canada & USA||181 million|
|Latin America||24 million|
This is useful so you know what server languages to learn ;)
(NetCraft - January 2002)
|Microsoft Internet Explorer 5||61%|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer 6||27%|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer 4||4%|
It is expected that the majority of European homes will have Digital TV by 2006. This will cause a drastic increase in the number of people able to access the internet.
(Europe - end 2001)
|Percentage of households owning a computer||52%|
|Percentage of UK adults using the Internet from any location||49%|
|Percentage of UK homes connected to the Internet||45%|
|Percentage of UK homes using unmetered access||38%|
|Percentage of consumers accessing Net via TV||4%|
|Percentage of consumers accessing Net via mobile phone||3%|
|Percentage of Net-connected homes using broadband||2%|