KnowledgePlex: Audience Discovery

Grew the adoption and use of an industry portal by improving user experience and content relevancy.

KnowledgePlex is an online news, tools and information resource for the affordable housing and community development field created by Fannie Mae Foundation. Fannie Mae Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting high-performance community organizations and partnering with others to organize, make available and direct the resources needed to facilitate its affordable housing and community revitalization mission.

The Challenge
KnowledgePlex was created to be the centerpiece of the Fannie Mae Foundation's knowledge-sharing programs, as a platform for the affordable housing and community development field to connect, collaborate, share and learn. Fannie Mae Foundation's leadership team needed a more refined picture of the KnowledgePlex target audience to guide the redesign of the site and align it more directly with the goals and needs of the target audience.

The Solution
Experience by Design was hired to research and build a detailed picture of the target audience for KnowledgePlex that outlined the web site’s audience as well as their goals, wants and needs. Experience by Design used its Audience Discovery™ methodology to manage the project from inception through delivery. Project goals were defined through research and working sessions with internal and external stakeholders. Topics included the makeup, capacity, goals and needs of the various segments within the affordable housing and community development field. Experience by Design conducted interviews, working sessions and focus groups with a representative sample from each of the target segments, and delivered findings and recommendations in a series of deliverables that included an audience profile, personas for the primary targets and a findings report.

The Result
Fannie Mae Foundation has a detailed and refined understanding of their target audience. This understanding supported the successful redesign and alignment of KnowledgePlex’s core features and content to the needs of affordable housing and community development professionals. It has also fostered successful outreach and increased adoption and use of the KnowledgePlex by members of the target audience. Fannie Mae Foundation's leadership team has continued to build upon the findings and recommendations of the Audience Discovery project. The findings have informed additional knowledge-sharing programs and Fannie Mae Foundation’s strategic planning to ensure efforts are rightly aligned with the organization's mission and the needs of those in the affordable housing and community development field.

» Product Assessment & Strategy
» User Research and Audience Profiling
» Persona Development


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