But before you come to any conclusions, Try walking in my shoes

– Walking In My Shoes, Depeche Mode

You may think you really understand your audience, their pains, their worries, the stress they’re experiencing at work, their personal woes and difficulties…

…but you don’t.

Based on your own experience and background, you can assume to know your users, but you really don’t know which message or copy will hit, resonate with their difficulties, and promise a better or worthwhile outcome.

This is of critical importance, cause they have certain feelings and issues bothering them, and if you’re to offer a certain product to solve their problems, then hopefully you can pinpoint the issue and touch upon what they really need.

Can you truly do that…or are you just guessing (or assuming again)?

There are a number of ways to hear them out with the most straightforward way involving simply speaking to your users to hear of their day from their own mouths, showing empathy, and seeing what pain you can relieve, and what gain they will receive.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible, and it may be even too early to speak to anyone – you have no users…yet.

In those cases (and even if you have spoken to a few), imagination does go a long way, but you need to guide it. Begin by imagining your ideal user and approach them as a beginner trying to paint a picture of what their day is like, their interaction with colleagues and bosses, and the difficulties they come across…as a whole and on a daily basis. Empathize with what they’re going through, also keeping in mind how they may feel when you meet them.

It will never be perfect, but such processes do provide you a more human approach to understanding your audience as real people and real users, and not just a pre-made personas that fit within a template.

People are people 🙂