You only have about 1.3 seconds for these five steps
So, you write content to help others. You’re focused on human development, self reflection, trauma recovery, spiritual enlightenment, or many other compassionate categories of subject matter — but getting readers to engage is a constant challenge and often a disappointment.
Understanding the reader’s cognitive flow can help.
Do they find you?
Do your readers know how to find you online? Publishing on the right platforms, employing the right headlines, careful inclusion of tagging, and getting noticed and indexed by authoritative sources will ensure you’re noticed when needed. You can’t help others if they can’t locate you.
When readers find your content, do they get it? Do they immediately understand your message, what it means for them and how they’ll benefit, and is the message about them and not about you, the author? Immediate clarity keeps them engaged a little longer.
Care about you?
Once they “get it,” do they give a damn? All creators, especially those in the helping categories, must interview their audiences, develop deep understanding of their needs and pain, and create relevant, useful programs and guidance.
In my profession as a researcher, we constantly guide our teams to “read minds, touch hearts, and map lives.”
Engage with you?
If the reader or user gets this far, they’ll may try to engage. To help them into your world and ideas and solutions, design your experiences and interactions for ease of access and simple navigation, with clear choices and actions. The only way to confirm you’ve succeeded is to verify by conducting actual user testing.
Succeed with you?
The only way to assess if people are successful is to observe your audience firsthand, to construct an experience where you can observe their experience, real time. There’s no other way to learn the truth about your relevance.
The reality of the Find — Understand — Care — Engage progression is that it takes about a second and a half for most adults.
If you don’t ensure your audience can traverse that distance in that period of time, they’ll never get a chance at the “Succeed” phase.
I’m Bob Berry — I research and teach User Experience for Creators — because all our outcomes occur only within the experiences we provide the world.