Beyond the general UX rules, what is the best for a company/ a product, to focus on the existing type of users or on the users they target?

2 Answers 2


The business goals need to be clearly defined first: UX works in the service (in an ethical manner) of the business goals and the users/customers.

Without definition of the business and understanding of what the goals are, any UX can be doomed to failure if it's out of alignment with said goals.

How do we measure success? Is it:

  • Time on site / engagement? (social media)
  • Time / effort saved? (productivity)
  • Revenue as defined as a sale of goods? (eCommerce)
  • Revenue raised towards a cause? (social funding and charity)
  • User growth? (again often social media, or start ups looking to get acquired for a user base)

All of above considerations will define wether you need to either:

  • A: Get more engagement / revenue / growth out of the existing users
  • B: Focus on a more profitable ('new') or different type of user.
  • C: Divide between both goals. Serve custom content or marketing in different venues or channels (more of a marketing call. This can be quite difficult to pull off)

These need to be clearly defined by business and product management.


If the existing users are much different from then target users, then the company must re-evaluate their goals and business model. This may be a sign that they have to pivot (see relevant book), and change the target users to match existing.

But if they have already done this, and they have not changed the target users, then the UX must be based on the users the business wants to target.

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