Who is my audience?

Your audience is the general public who needs help or information. This general public is anxious, fearful, and confused. Many of them are sick or have lost their jobs. There is an explosion of information about coronavirus, but the reliability and accuracy of this information is not always clear. In times like these, the public looks to their governments to create clarity and provide prescriptive guidance on what to do.

The information that you publish and the way that you publish it (communication style, clarity of language, visual design, UX) needs to have this audience in mind. We recommend the folowing:

  • Information and directives need to be clear, simple, and actionable. A middle schooler should be able to read your content and understand what to do.

  • Publish just the essential information on your site. Resist the urge to publish all the information that you can find about coronavirus on your site — this is unnecessary, not helpful, and overwhelming for your average reader.

  • For very detailed information or guidelines that are geared towards specific audiences (such as healthcare professionals, travelers, pregnant people, etc), point them towards the pages that are written and maintained by the CDC. The CDC has the most reliable and detailed information and directions out there so far. There is no reason to duplicate and maintain this content separately. Coronavirus.gov, the coronavirus information portal created and maintained by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is a great example of how to do this well. The vast majority of the buttons and links in the below screenshot link out to pages on the CDC site.

The media will likely be looking at your site as well, so that they can distribute information from the government for the public. It is a good idea to have a section on your website for “Press Releases and Media” where the media can go and easily find information specifically for them. See Announcements & Press Releases for additional information.

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