Define Your Audience

2-40 people

When framing your design challenge, it's crucial to understand your target audience and the areas you need to explore. Knowing their needs, context, and history will enable you to ask intelligent questions during your research. It's important not to restrict your thinking to just the people you're designing for. You may also need to consider the community, services, and government policies that impact their lives. Depending on your team's familiarity with the challenge area, you may need to utilize Secondary Research as well.

Workshop steps


Together with your team, list the individuals or groups directly impacted by or connected to your challenge. Are you creating solutions for children? For farmers? Determine whose life you aim to enhance.


Identify the groups mentioned earlier as your users. Next, utilize the Ecosystem Mapping worksheet's question prompts to investigate the desired behavior for your user and any factors that may encourage or hinder it. Prepare ample post-its and wall space for mapping possible influences. Involve collaborators with valuable experience and understanding of the challenge or context.


After completing your mapping, take a step back and examine your ecosystem. Use the question prompts to identify potential shifts that your user and others may need to experience or achieve. Determine which shifts can be designed for and which ones are constraints that cannot be addressed. Label each shift accordingly.


Pause for a moment and consider where your organization currently holds influence or is best suited to provide support within this ecosystem. This will help you determine what falls within and outside of your scope.


This activity will produce valuable data that can instantly guide your field research plan. It should indicate who to interview and what inquiries about the context and issue you need to investigate. Additionally, it will be useful later when you decide on what to prototype or create your Theory of Change.

Need help with this workshop?

Anna Lundqvist portrait
Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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