Designing the WIMBY map: How to find your target audience?

9 october 2023

The WIMBY project aims to battle the Not In My Backyard effect by clearly presenting the positive and negative impacts of wind projects. Not only are there many impacts involved, the same is true for the list of stakeholders. To move forward, and create a useful and user-friendly tool, we need to pinpoint who we are creating this interactive map for. We start with identifying our target audience.

Why define a target audience?

Choosing your target users early in a project has multiple advantages. First it helps defining the scope of the project and gives direction to the project team. It makes discussions about design, functionalities,... much more simple when you can refer to who you are building it for. Moreover you can find representatives that can act as spokespersons and make sure the application is build in a user-centered way. Finally you can prioritise implementation work in line with the needs of your target users.

How to find your target audience?

Step 1

Think of anyone who is in any way affected by your project and list them. In a next step, aggregate this potentially long list of people in a number of groups and name them. It is recommended to involve experts and partners in this process so the result will be well-informed and supported by your team. In the WIMBY project we organised 2 remote co-creation workshops with the project partners using a virtual whiteboard and post-its.


Step 2

Decide which of these groups will be direct users of the new map and select the most important ones in a democratic way. For the WIMBY project we used a bullseye canvas to split up the user groups in direct, indirect and extended users. Direct users are the groups we think will be truly using the interactive map. Indirect users are people who work with or talk to the direct users but are not "real" users of the map. Extended users are merely affected by the map and project. All of this is explained in the book "Collaborative Product Design " by Austin Govella.


Step 3

After selecting the most important user groups, we did an exercise to define their pains, gains and jobs to be done. Jobs to be done are things they want to accomplish in their job or every day lives. Gains are positive outcomes the users experience when using the future WIMBY map for completing their jobs. Pains are possible roadblocks, issues, risks they can face. This is derived from the "Value Proposition Canvas". You can read more about it here.

Below you can find an example of the user group "Education":

  • jobs to be done: explain wind projects and various impacts to students
  • gains: the tool facilitates the explanation of a complex subject
  • pains: too many details can make it difficult to use and understand the tool

What's next?

Go one step further and prioritize your target users. This will help making decisions on which feature to build and when later on. For the WIMBY project we used a simple dot voting exercise to do this.

And just like that you have found your target audience!

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