No website or intranet design decision you make is going to please every user, every time — nor should it. When you’re creating an optimal user experience for your target audience or audiences, their needs and preferences take priority. While some general usability principles apply for virtually all audiences (the design needs to be usable, useful, desirable and adoptable), it’s essential to understand how your user groups respond to the interface and information architecture.
Developers have a number of ways to represent audience research and analysis, including user stories and usage scenarios. One useful method, especially when developing public websites, is to create user personas that represent your key audience segments.