Empathetic Design: Tool of the Brilliant, Boon for Digital, Social Media Content Strategy
By Matthew Bick
Empathetic design might just be the new buzzword for 2013. The man recognized as its founder, IDEO CEO David Kelley, recently discussed his first-hand experience with how the method leads to true innovation in his company on 60 Minutes. And just as empathetic design has worked wonders for Kelley and IDEO, so too can it work wonders for marketers as a model for social content development.
Empathetic Design Can Tune You In to Your Followers
Empathetic design is a seemingly simple concept: figure out what the people really want – what they’ll really derive value from – and design accordingly. The same principle applies to social content creation. Your social followers have all followed you presumably because they see some value in keeping up with your brand, whether that be through promotions or interesting content. Identifying and creating the content that is most helpful for your followers will yield the best results.
The Concept’s Focus on Collaboration Appeals to Social Media’s Most Avid Contributors
Empathetic design relies upon several tenets, one of which is that a good idea can from anyone, anytime. In the aforementioned 60 Minutes interview, Kelley discussed the importance he places on having minds from a variety of backgrounds when solving problems and how doing so leads to more diverse, and potentially more effective, solutions. In general, social media operates much the same way, with individuals from many backgrounds coming together to discuss common interests. Ideas emanating from diverse backgrounds can significantly aid brands as they look to problem solve.
Empathetic Design Provides a Window into User Experience Design
One discipline that is increasingly impacted by empathetic design is user experience design (UX). According to a piece by Traci Lepore of UX Matters, empathetic design is helping advertisers architect a complete user communication experience where the stories told from each consumer touchpoint form part of the larger brand story. But, how does a brand get to a point where every page and every experience conveys a story? Lepore implores brands to create several different, continually evolving versions of any page that will be used for public consumption, test to see what works, and streamline the process over time. According to Lepore, “our product pages are going through the same rigorous exercise for every content type. Doing this now will free us up later to work on big-picture issues, ensuring that we can deliver compelling, amazing user experiences.”