Two Quick Ways of Building Empathy In Your UX Process

Sometimes it can be hard to feel empathy with a products ends users. A lot of the projects we work on are unlikely to effect us directly, nor will we be likely to visit the site.

“Never create an experience you wouldn’t want your own family to have”

Ted Booth, 11 Rules For Great UX Design, Adapted From An Original Mad Man

There’s the given ways to build empathy with users through techniques such as interviews, personas and testing. However, I find the above quote is great inspiration to create the best experience possible. I only wan’t the best experience possible for my family.

Ask So What If

Another technique, which Ben Holliday discussed at the recent NUX3 conference, is for design teams to ask So what if. Holliday works on and recently his team have been tasked with refining the form carers have to complete to apply for financial support from the Government.

One way the team built empathy with their target users was to ask 'So, what if?'.

So, What If?

  • I needed full time support to be a carer?
  • It was my child with a disability?

Giving someone, somewhere a better experience

So, here we have two quick and interesting ways to build empathy into your UX and design work and to create a better user experience. I have stopped more than once to tweak something I am working on when I think in this way. I like to think someone, somewhere has had a better experience as a result.