You want to be able to truly resonate with your user base or your customers. But how do you do this? And how do you do it well? By using empathetic design. We talked a bit about empathy in a recent blog post here. If you want to learn a bit more about designing with empathy you read more there.

How is empathy different than sympathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand another human being’s thoughts, feelings and situation from their point of view (rather than your own POV). It’s like that old adage of picturing yourself in someone else’s shoes.

It’s different than sympathy, which is usually an act to show your care for someone. It may not be easy to immediately understand what people are feeling or thinking. Thus, we cannot immediately solve a problem. We need to use our skills like intuition and imagination to gain insights.

Empathetic Design in UX

So how do we harness the power of empathy in our design (UX)? You should try to find out how your product or service makes a difference to what’s already out there. How do your users that you’re attempting to capture think, do, hear, feel, say and see? What are their reasons to feel this way? By mapping this out you can determine what users can gain from your product/service and what pain they are having with it. This will lead you to make product development choices.

Design for products are not only about how the product looks. It’s about how it works, and if it’s solving a problem. Is it helping users and is it meeting their expectations-essentially does it do what they want it to?

Using Empathetic Design

Using empathy in the design process helps you as a business understand what it important and meaningful to your customer base. You can build relationships and improve your customer retention and conversion rates. It’s helping increase the satisfaction of your guests with minimal effort. Being detached when designing is creating a major wedge between you and the user and this can severley hurt a user’s experience. You can’t assume a user will solve the problem the same way you as a designer or engineer would.

The best way to approach the issue of design is to assume the user knows nothing. Taking this approach means you’ll better explain things and make sure they work for your users. Simply take the time to carry out some research on your users and absorb that information into your overall decision-making and though-process.

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