Lessons from two recent projects: Why put the user first? | The Giles Agency


We work on a busy and varied load of projects here at The Giles Agency. This month, The Feed has focused on the importance of client briefs to client, customer, and creative alike – something that is at the very core of the work we do.

With this in mind, here are a couple of examples of recent projects that really illustrate the importance of a user-first perspective.


Credit to Flickr user: Kārlis Dambrāns


App development: Getting customers on board

Recently, we worked on an app launch for a financial services brand that needed help with their onboarding screens. The brand had been working on the copy internally, but were struggling to hit the right tone for these screens that would drive customers to successfully complete of all the required information. They were finding it difficult to stop thinking about the various compliance challenges that were cropping up around customer onboarding in a digital environment; when we came on board, these restrictions were still there, of course – but by knowing what they were from the start, we were able to approach the copy from a purely user-first perspective, while still considering the hurdles we would need to jump to make the digital content regulation-compliant. We looked at how to make the content conversational, and considered the mindset that our audience would likely be in while completing their registration. We thought about the situation: with this being an app, customers were likely to complete it on the move or in their breaks between other tasks, so we had to think about how to keep them engaged but also how to allow them to take a break and come back if needed. With their attention also likely to be on other screens and tasks we had to keep the copy concise, clear and directional – without losing brand tone.


Product brochures and webpages: Inciting interest

We know that insurance is a saturated market, with many brands in Hong Kong and Singapore offering similar products with only slightly different terms or benefits – so we approach new product brochures and online product pages with a customer-first mindset. The first thing a user is going to ask is “what does this plan cover?” – so let’s give the product a name that is instantly understandable, and fill the lead-in copy with information about what the plan covers (being as transparent as possible). Next up, customers will want to know if and how a given plan is different from any other, so we select a few key points of difference and really celebrate them in the text. By making these stand out and tie back to the audience’s lifestyle, they can’t help but think “this must be the plan for me”. Finally, customers will want to know if they qualify for the plan, and what they need to do to sign up. At this stage, once you have their interest, directional copy with a hint of conversational tone and brand messaging can be used to get customers over the finish line. 


There’s so much to learn from past projects that have been both successful and not-quite-so-good. Why did it work? What could we do better? What did the client want, and what did they get? Taking the time to revisit and pick apart past work that you’re proud or critical of (or, ideally, both!) is an essential step in developing your communications skills – and in quickly and accurately aligning your mindset with that of future clients.


If you’re looking for more Giles wisdom on this, our Lead English Editor Pete recently wrote all about the “perfect pairing” of creatives and creative briefs, and Jen wrote more about the importance of putting the user first.

Please feel free to email us on enquiries.hk@gilesagency.com for any enquiries or queries you may have – or if you’d like to work together.