We’re conscious tech innovators, so we’re each on our own quest to help people in meaningful ways. But our most meaningful needs & desires are hidden so deeply that we have trouble understanding our own.
Vested Summit 2019 Conference Workshop
9 November 2019, Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt
In this workshop, we didn’t use slides but practiced empathy techniques in a low-tech, human way. Here’s a recap of the key concepts.
Deep Needs & Desires
To create things that empower people in meaningful ways, we need to understand those deep needs and desires. Empathy gives us a “shortcut,” a bridge between other people’s deepest feelings and our own. And we can apply techniques from the actor’s craft to our conscious design process.
We can train our emotional fluency by describing our emotions with specific words. Our How are you feeling? exercise is part of our empathy “workout.”
Empathic Design Process
“[The practitioner] makes a connection on an emotional level with the user by recalling [their] own feelings & resonating with the user’s experience.”Dr. Froukje Sleeswijk Visser
This empathic design process has four phases:
Eindhoven Empathy Model
Empathy is a skill like any other: we can train it individually or in teams. For one to empathize, they need to have at least some empathic ability and some proximity to the person with whom they want to empathize.
We can train empathic ability by practicing mindfulness meditation, taking acting classes, and consciously experiencing life in new, different ways. We can increase proximity by conducting research, interviewing people, simulating people’s contexts (VR, special equipment), or putting ourselves in people’s contexts.
- The Ladder of Sustainable Engagement, uxdesign.cc
- Kouprie & Sleeswijk Visser, F (2009) A framework for empathy in design
- Why startups fail, according to their founders, Fortune, 2014
- The Hierarchy of User Experience Needs, Stephen Anderson
- VR Physio Therapy – VRPhysio
- The Los Angeles Method (inspired the Character Map Canvas)
- Using Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions to improve the evaluation of sources, classtools.net