Who Is Your Audience?
Who is your message intended to reach? Is it the tech-y guy at the coffee shop or the owner of a small business on Main Street? Whoever it is, create a persona that fits him or her. A persona is a fictional character created to represent the different types of people within a targeted demographic. Use specific information[md]age, gender, education, occupation, hobbies, and so on. The better you get to know your audience, the better you can meet their expectations, which makes for a happier audience.
The audience for InterACT with Web Standards is diverse, but for the most part we expect them to be web-savvy. With this rule in mind, we created a companion website that acts as an extension of the book. Not only are we using a medium that's relevant to our message (it is a book about the Web, after all), but it's relevant to our online audience.
Creating a target audience persona will help to determine your writing style and content organization. For example, if you're targeting a pre-teen girl's persona, you would adapt your writing style to suit[md]less authoritative drone, more fun-loving favorite aunt.
Working through this step is also important to the next step, determining a style for your book, because your target persona will serve as a filter for your ideas. You can discard design choices that wouldn't be relevant to your target; for example, throw out grunge and sports themes if your audience is pre-teen girls.