UX / UI Design



How to transform stressful experiences into pleasant ones?


Empathy is our ability to perceive the world through the eyes of other people. Or, at least, trying to get as close as possible to see what they see, feel what they feel and experience things as they do. It is a fundamental skill in any user-centered design process.

Empathy in design

What is it for? In short, to understand and share the difficulties faced by users, to discover their needs and desires and to explain the reasons for their frustrations and behaviors. To achieve this, it is important to understand what are their different environments, and what are the roles and interactions that unfold in them.

Empathy allows us to:

  • To discover the emotional and physical needs of the users.
  • Detect pain points and opportunities for improvement.
  • Understand how users see, understand, name and interact with the world around them.
  • Interpret what the other person means, not just what they say.

Empathy is fundamental to all human-centered design. It helps us to set aside our own assumptions, to understand and integrate vital information about our users: their emotions, needs, fears, desires, concerns and interests.

"The main rule of Design Thinking is empathy for the people you are trying to design for."

David M. Kelley, founder of IDEO.

Empathy is also a tool that helps us gather as many experiences, ideas, opinions and observations as possible In other words, insights and valuable input for our projects and design decisions.

Empathy is also the only way to thoroughly understand what people mean, rather than simply picking up what they say. Whether out of fear, mistrust or other internal or context-associated factors, people don't always cover all the details when they share their comments and opinions.

For this reason, user-centered design brings value:

  • Giving meaning to what is not said or implied, through the interpretation of expressions and non-verbal language.
  • Developing intuition and emotional sensitivity to achieve a deeper understanding of each interaction with users and their experiences.

Everyone can apply it

Empathy is a capacity that we can all develop, for the benefit of our daily lives and the design of experiences. We are empathic beings by nature. Of course, that doesn't mean it's a simple task.

Gaining empathy is not something that can be measured or quantified, nor is it an object to be taken and possessed forever. Improving our empathy levels is a skill, and as such needs to be constantly trained. With practice, commitment and dedication.

Therefore, we propose you to practice and exercise empathy in every design decision you make. Putting yourself in the place of the other, and finding in the perception and experiences of users, the necessary resources to achieve the desired solutions.

In short, empathy will turn your designs into increasingly human and satisfying experiences, transforming stressful situations into pleasurable ones.

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