I'm sure I'll be called, as a UX designer, to give a total-usability-makeover to a website or two. Wanting to include in my portfolio a demonstration of my preparedness for this, I simply Googled "Worst websites" and took my pick from a list of the "top 25" to redesign. Someone on the forum had mentioned that for personal portfolio projects it would be okay to assume the specs or pain points to address for a website or product in question if unable to contact users. If anyone's interested, here's the website,brace yourself: http://www.jamilin.com.
I'm pretty sure there's no way I'd be able to reach out to the regular visitors (if any) of this website to interview or invite to participate in a/b testings, surveys, etc., basically gather data/specs/reqs. and even if it was possible I'm sure it would be more time consuming than worthwhile for this purpose. The best I can do is recall all middle-aged, free spirited, flower children men and women hipster friends of mine, and/or anyone I know who I suspect to have New Agey interests and derive persona profiles from them. But having a look at this website, I'm pretty certain my ideal version of the redesigned website would appease the offended audience, though I know it's a kind of cardinal sin in UX to project one's own design ideals onto what should be user or client generated requirements.
What's the best thing to do in this situation? or at the very least, what's okay to do? Is it acceptable, in this case, to assume solutions?