Cutter IT Journal: Empathy for Business

Empathy-based software design makes sense, but like many apparently sensible ideas, most will miss it. The right way to start is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, look at the world from their perspective, and feel for yourself the delight and frustrations your end user might feel. Listen and understand the reasons why users will want to engage, will want to use this application, and what their context and intentions are. You then focus on creating an effortless and situationally appropriate experience. Respect the consumers’ preferences. Avoid the temptation to force behavior and to push features, products, and services on them that they might not want, which would quickly lead them to impugn your motives. Always remember how Steve Jobs would reject featureheavy products and send them back to product engineering to be simplified. In its essence, empathy-based design sits somewhere between the Golden Rule and common sense.

The article in this reprint originally appeared in Cutter IT Journal, Vol. 27, No. 6/7.