Design for Empathy

Review - 18 Jul 2015

“Art raises questions, design answers questions.”

I think this quote appropriately sums up Design for Empathy’s vision.

Design for Empathy suggests a methodology for how products and services should be designed. Littered with a variety of interesting anecdotes and quotes from industry professionals, and combined with design processes to implement the concepts illustrated, Design for Empathy draws one singular idea to mind: Understand your market and their truth, then design to this.

To design for empathy you must seek answers to these questions:

What do you think people currently do?

Why do you think that?

Where do you think people do it?

How frequently do you think they do it?

When do you think they do it?

"The hardest part of building something comes down to this: are you building it for yourself, or are you building it for how you believe most people will react and interact? It’s important and powerful to get out of your own head and think about how other people engage with a system or a product, and make sure you are making one meaningful to them, not to you.”

Written from a prospective of developing digital products and services, the application of designing for empathy is much wider - ad guys, business people, and, in fact, all services industries should design their businesses around consumers’ needs and truths. 

Although I don’t think the concepts illustrated in the book are revolutionary, they do help to piece the concept of understanding consumers’ drivers together in a concise manner, giving the reader a set of useful tools to implement in a variety of professional and personal circumstances.