Design

Empathy tools in the work of a designer

One of the most important qualities of a designer is empathy, the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes and feel the same way that he or she feels. Kostya Gorsky tells how to develop empathy and use it as a tool in your work.

In the book Hit refresh, Cathya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, explains how it was largely thanks to empathy that he managed to transform and revive the company: “The main thing in our business is to stimulate innovation. What is innovation? These are new, not yet expressed concepts. You can’t just listen to customers and give them what they want. In fact, they want you to go beyond their desires. It requires empathy, empathy. “

Some of us immediately easily manage to feel the sensations of others, some are more difficult. Either way, empathy can be developed if you want to. The basic principle is to listen to people and try to hear.

Here are some simple ways:

  1. Conduct usability tests yourself or just watch the testsand, be a spectator. When you see how a real living person uses your product, how he cannot do something simple in the interface, you begin to understand a lot.
  2. Read people’s appeals to technical support… And maybe even answer them. Especially carefully delve into cases when a person does not understand something in the product or he expected different behavior from the interface. In Yandex, by the way, there were cases when a person started working in technical support, and then became a designer – he trained the ability to understand what makes a product incomprehensible. In Intercom, all employees regularly participate in the customer day – this is when you and the support guys answer questions during the day. Since Intercom is a product for communication between businesses and people, we ourselves use it to communicate with our clients. Which leads to the next way.
  3. It is imperative to use your own product yourself.… Even if you have a product for solving some highly specialized problem, it would be nice to come up with something. For example, Yandex.Taxi managers and designers not only regularly ride taxis, but also tried to work as taxi drivers – it was important to understand what the application interface for drivers should look like. When Bo Andersson became the head of Avtovaz several years ago, he forced all top managers to switch to Lada. In my opinion, this is the only way it should be.

In general, empathy is just about loving people. B sincerely want to help them. A simple test question: when you enter, for example, a subway car, can you say that you treat everyone with love? If not, then this seriously limits you as a designer.

Source: Design & Productivity



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