That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 1 - ICT and Society

Note: this page applies to the AQA Applied ICT A level specification. This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013. The content will be retained as an archive and because it has some stuff that might be quite useful for someone or other

Mobile phone imageBlock Four - Audience Analysis and Needs

This block begins to shift the focus on to the specific exam skills which are required in Unit 1. In particular it aims to:

Audience Analysis:

In your exam pre-release material (available around November 1st!) you will be presented with a scenario, The scenario will present a specific target audience for your newsletter or web pages.

Target audiences used in the past include:

Before you can write content for and develop designs for your publication you will need to analyse the needs of the audience.

This means asking key questions such as:

PDF iconAudience Analysis - presentation slides

PDF iconExample exam paper - this is a summary of the 2010 exam paper, which is available to download in full from the eAQA site

Who are the audience?

This is the first step. Before you can get into how the needs of the audience will impact on your publication, you need to figure out who the audience are and what they're like.

PDF iconAudience Characteristics Grid - this will help you structure your initial analysis of the characteristics of your audience

MS Word iconAudience Characteristics Grid - Word version

Audience Needs

Now you have an idea of who the audience are you can start to develop an idea of what they might want the publication (the newsletter or web pages) to do.

Effective ways to do this involve:

From this sort of analysis you can identify specific audience needs in some detail - the things your audience wants the publication to do.

From there you need to identify how each need will impact the layout and content of your publication. I find that a grid is a quite effective way to go about this as it ensures that you actually link each need to layout and content.

PDF iconImpact of audience grid - a way of structuring your impact analysis to ensure you meet the markgrid requirements

The Markgrid:

You need to start to get an idea of how your exam work will be marked. This all comes down to the markgrid. You get marks by progressing along it's rows - and what do mark make?

The markgrid for row b has 3 marks available. It requires you to not only identify the audience needs but to go on to suggest specifically how they will impact the layout and content of your publication:

Markgrid row b
Note: this markscheme is a copy of one available freely on the AQA Applied ICT webpages. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

Note that to access the third mark you need to address, in some detail, the impact on both the layout and content of your publication.

Specific Needs:

Some members of an audience will have specific, or particular, needs. For example, some users may be partially sighted or may have difficulties reading text of a certain colour. Others may not be able to hear sounds. All of these users are, however, able to use computers effectively - and need to be able to access your publication in some form.

This is sometimes asked about specifically in exams - you may need to write about how ICT might be adapted for a particular need for example. It can also be helpful when you're considering the overall audience needs to refer to any particular need which may apply. Colour blindness, for example, is easy to adapt web pages or newsletters for. You might also want to use legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act in your content.

PDF iconSpecific Needs presentation slides

I've written a blog postexternal link about the ways in which users with specific needs use ICT. It has some links as a starting point for further reading.

PDF iconWriting for an audience task - a short task which combines the skill of writing for an audience with an investigation of how the needs of a specific group are catered for

You should probably look at That Blue Square Blog for all the really good other A Level stuff.