Know Your Audience or Know Your Content

I recently had the privilege of attending Edward Tufte's 1-day course. It was incredibly insightful and I have lots of thoughts to process from the event, but one thing that stood out to me was the following comment he made:

A lot of people say know your audience, instead I think it's know your content and respect your audience.

This is an interesting concept as it takes the emphasis away from crafting user personas and catering everything towards your defined user types...key elements to the UX design process. 

While I still believe that user profiles are extremely important, perhaps Tufte is warning us against imposing our idea of a successful conversion onto our users. If we prioritize clear and truthful display of our content, perhaps this will empower the user to make discoveries of their own, therefore increasing engagement and building their overall brand experience. 

I'm still fleshing this idea out, so there's definitely more to come on this comment, along with more of my thoughts from the Tufte seminar.