Friends First. Then Design.
John Collery
1997

An article about design that only mentions empathy once! Instead the focus is on making connections; messy, emotional, personal connections. Thank you John, and Jen, for sharing this aspect of your craft in a very authentic voice. In my first design thinking class, Stanford d-school’s 90-minute Virtual Crash Course, instructors Jeremy Utley and George Kembel urged us to “get emotional” and get personal in our design research. In my experience, to get sufficiently emotional and personal, you need to have a connection. Making a personal connection goes beyond empathy. There are so many good observations and insights in this article that I nearly highlighted the whole thing. Of note is the observation that making a connection often requires exposing the emotional side of yourself without knowing what the outcome will be. That means giving up control and a level of uncertainty will hold most people back. Thanks again for a wonderful piece that I will read again and again!