After numerous experiments smartocto has been able to implement a series of improvements to the AI tool that helps identify user needs. It’s now better than ever and it’s still free*.

  • Improvement in recognising and interpreting emotions in articles. We'll give you an example of a mouse tidying a man's shed.
  • Ability to recognise specific user needs, not just the four drivers (fact, context, emotion, action)

The tool can be accessed at and remains free to use, *though from today onwards, users will be asked to provide their name and email address in exchange for this service. The reason user needs at smartocto has developed the way it has, into the force that it is, is because it was client feedback and collaboration that drove it. By looping users into the conversation, the user needs team hopes they’ll become part of this process too.

"Our focus is on the development of, the switch that can be made in our features thanks to the input from large language models," says smartocto’s CEO Erik van Heeswijk. "One of our clients, after a testing period, has decided to go forward with this. will assist them in devising alternative headlines and content classification. In this latter aspect, we can make good use of the knowledge gained from"

The improvement of the tool is best explained with an example. We input the following article into the user needs recogniser:

Mouse, the guardian

The first version of the user needs recogniser has already been consulted thousands of times by journalists and other content creators. What they noticed with articles like this one from The Guardian was that the tool 'thought' it was dealing with a fact-driven news update. As a real, live human editor, you know that this is a special case that is primarily entertaining. The new version pinpoints this and can even clarify that it's a 'Divert me' piece. The output after analysis:


The article primarily satisfies the Emotional user need, as it tells a light-hearted and amusing story about a mouse tidying up a man's shed, which is likely to elicit a good feeling and provide a diversion from more serious news. The story is reminiscent of a scene from an animated movie, which adds to the entertaining aspect. There is a minor Factual component, as it provides factual details about the events, but it does not focus on delivering news updates or trends. The Contextual need is slightly addressed by giving background on the wildlife photographer and comparing the incident to a similar event from the past, but it does not provide in-depth analysis or education. There is no Actionable content, as the article does not offer advice or encourage the reader to take specific actions. The narrative is most probably a 'Divert me' article, aiming to entertain and amuse the reader with an unusual and charming story.


"The updated tool delves deeper into the specifics of the User Needs 2.0 model, powered by a more advanced generative AI to accurately categorise articles," explains Goran S. Milanovic, lead data scientist at smartocto. "It identifies not only the four main drivers but potentially the eight user needs as well, though distinguishing between 'Educate me' and 'Give me perspective' remains challenging."

As mentioned, the tool is easy and free to use for everyone at If you would like to learn more about, please feel free to contact us by sending an email to