As content practitioners, we commit ourselves to make life easier for people whom we do not know. We do not know in what state of mind (stress, joy, illness, celebration, disaster) they try to find information they need. So, Empathy gets even more important when we plan content for its audience.
We can trigger change. We have the power to make the audience feel empowered to make a decision–most often for something better in their life. They may use the content that we produce and publish after we are no longer the stewards of this content. So, the responsibility is bigger than what it seems. To me, this responsibility is a privilege. For instance, if a user tries to find information on how to donate to a charity that helps cancer patients - she is not celebrating. To help her make a donation ‘in that moment’ is to Empower her to make a huge difference–in her own life too.
All this Empathy and Empowerment aspects for products experience do not mean that I am an advocate of a ‘user-centered design’. I am not. There are organizations who had defined user-centered product processes in place but they failed (or pivoted and failed, or had to restructure their processes) because the content economics were not viable. We need to ensure that there is an alignment of content experience with business goals. Our goal is not only to address audience concerns and needs, the content should comply with the organization’s ROI goals.
So as content practitioners, we are the Ministry of Content–for Empathy, Empowerment, and Economics.