Drastic changes in how we live, such as the way online interaction and remote working have now become the norm, are here to stay. This raises a crucial question for business owners: How do you innovate both rapidly and correctly when behaviours and expectations are quickly changing so much? With so many shifts in so short a time, understanding the human perspective is more important now than ever.
Meet Anita Siek, lawyer turned brand and copy strategist and founder of human centred brand strategy and copywriting school, Wordfetti. Anita specialises in teaching brands how to stand out within their industry. “Or as I like to frame it,” says Anita, “we help them become the go-to in their industry, much like the Dysons of vacuums” And she does that all through using words, her background in psychology and human-centred design.
What is human-centred design and why is it so important?
Human-centred design and design thinking are methodologies used by some of the biggest brands in the game, such as Apple, Uber, and Google and are taught by some of the leading Universities such as Stanford and Harvard.
Both concepts are very tightly intertwined, and must be understood before implementing. Design thinking looks at it from a wide lens: it’s about ensuring wecreate products or services that solve problems. Human-centred design on the other hand, looks at the granular: how to improve usability and customer experience of a particular product or a service.
“There’s so many businesses that start with a product or service, going in with what they believe the industry needs, spending a lot of money on creating the product or service, only to be left wondering why no one buys them,” Anita says. “This is because they actually haven’t dissected the problem and uncovered what their audience actually wants.”
Human centred design is an approach to problem solving that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.
“If I’m to distil it into one word, it is empathy,” Anita says. “It’s all about understanding the user’s problem, and finding a solution that’s tailored to them.”
3 tips every copywriter or business should be considering
Speaking with Anita, she shares with us 4 key tips that every business should be considering to better understand your audience, and get ahead of your competitors.
Define the actual problem
The bulk of your time should be spent getting to know your audience. “Once you know your audience back to front, you fall in love with them,” Anita says. “It’s only then that you’re able to know what their problem is – what they’re actively searching for on Google, Bing, etc.”
Once you define their wants, needs, and pain points, it’s only then that you can really tailor your message, content, and copy so you can get your audience to start paying attention to your product or service.
Go through your testimonials, put together simple Survey Monkey questionnaires, go into the forums where people are talking about what it is that you’re selling – there are endless ways to do this! But a big tip here is to listen.
Adopt a human-centred approach to writing content
“Unless you get under their skin and really understand how your audience feels, how they would love to feel, and what they really want to avoid, you’re not going to be able to connect with them,” Anita states.
“Taking a human-centred approach to your business and your copy and content also means that you respect where your audience is at, and appreciate how your audience prefers to consume their content.” – says Anita.
“For example, do they prefer reading a blog? Audio, so perhaps a Podcast? What words would they resonate with, and what words may feel like jargon to them? (Remember here, you as the business owner may feel that words you use on a day to day makes sense to you, but ask: will my audience be searching for this if they were on Google?)
In everything that we do as writers and creators, we should be doing so in the shoes and the voices of our customers to best solve their pain points.”
Experiment, test and refine
The work is never “done”. Whether it be your product, service offering, copy or content. “Creating human-centred content is a constant evolution,” Anita says. “It’s not just about writing a blog post, for example, it’s about reviewing it, seeing how it went, and seeing how you can make it even better.”
Whether it be your Facebook Ad Copy, your sales page messaging, a particular caption – see everything you do as an experiment and a test and always explore ways you can make it even better.
Human-centered design is a powerful way to understand evolving behaviours, preferences, and pain points and to ensure you are focusing your efforts in the right place, in the right way. Use these 4 tips Anita shared to build your offerings with humans in mind, and keep on adapting and innovating towards the constant changes the world will inevitably present.
If you would like to learn more from Anita, or work with her directly, you can follow her on Instagram here, contact her and her team here, or follow her Podcast Brandfetti where she shares weekly bite-sized lessons on copywriting, content marketing, branding, consumer psychology and design-thinking.