Design Empathy

Objectivity is the most important Design Skill — Part 3

Objective Empathy

Objective Empathy is purposeful. Objective Empathy is strategic, tactical, and meaningful. Objective Empathy understands human needs, while also balancing an inherent knowledge of “the system,” to deliver the highest possible benefit to the human actor, within the circumstances of real world constraints.

The success of Empathy’s contribution to the Design process is determined by the effectiveness of the Design practitioner to objectively understand, represent, and respond to, the perspective of the human actor within the context of the Design solution.

In either functional model of Empathy, objectively representing the human actor’s perspective is the…


Design Empathy

Objectivity is the most important Design Skill — Part 2

Empathy is a Tricky Subject

Within Human Centered Design exercises, Empathy is the ability of the Designer to take on the perspective of the human actor who will directly benefit from the Design solution.

Because many Design contributors consider “Empathy” to be a universally understood word, with applications and meanings outside of the Human Centered Design process, setting expectations for how best to practically apply Empathy during Collaborative Design phases becomes a critical factor in focusing team discussions and exercises productively.

Affective Empathy establishes an emotional perspective, while Cognitive Empathy establishes a psychological perspective.

Affective Empathy (AE) — Emotional Empathy

Affective Empathy is…


Design Empathy

Objectivity is the most important Design skill — Part 1

In nearly every conceptual, practical, or philosophical view of Everyday Empathy, popular culture is correct. Empathy is pretty great.

Down the rabbit hole of popular Design theory, Empathy becomes considerably more nuanced.

Empathy as a Design Attitude

Because “success” of the Human Centered Design process is most effectively measured by the degree of a Design solution’s benefit to its human actor, Human Centered Design practitioners must understand the stated human need, as well as the motivating nature of the need, to effectively respond with Design solutions that create meaningfully impactful products, services, and experiences on the…


Objective Empathy in Human Centered Design

In nearly every conceptual, practical, or philosophical view of Everyday Empathy, popular culture is correct. Empathy is pretty great.

Down the rabbit hole of popular Design theory, Empathy becomes considerably more nuanced.

tl;dr version can be found in the article summary.

Empathy as a Design Attitude

Because “success” of the Human Centered Design process is most effectively measured by the degree of a Design solution’s benefit to its human actor, Human Centered Design practitioners must understand the stated human need, as well as the motivating nature of the need, to effectively respond with Design solutions that…

Joshua Dillon

Design. Strategy. Tardigrades.

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