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Empathy in Design: What You Must Know

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Empathy in Design: What You Must Know

Empathy in Design

As they say, empathy is the ability to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. This positive emotion can help you to win the confidence of your customers. Now, taking the psychological concept to the field of web design – how does the idea fit into the world of technology? In web design, empathy refers to an approach of recognizing the emotions of your customers and focusing on their needs towards a specific product. As a web designer, you need to  understand what users think and feel about your products. Empathy is the soft skill that enables user experience (UX) designers to provide personally relevant and meaningful experiences to users. Eventually, it is all about knowing how you’ll solve your customers’ problems and create better products. When you design a website, you have to consider factors such as appeal, clarity, readability, and visual hierarchy of information.

Empathizing in Design

You may be wondering how to empathize with your customers? Start by identifying your customers’ feelings and here are five steps to do that:

Observation: When you design something for your users, invest some time in observing them as they use the product. Make a note of the aspects of the product’s usability, user-friendliness, challenges, how much time a user takes to realize his or her goals, and alternative solutions. For instance, when you want to observe how the users interact with an e-commerce site that you have designed, you should note three main points, namely, the ease of navigation to find a specific product, comparing similar items and their price, choosing the right size, and smooth checking out.

Recording Information: The next step is capturing the data or observations you have made. When you are capturing data, you must record things like:

  • Were the users overwhelmed with too many product options?
  • What time did they spend in finding their desired item?
  • Was there any confusion while searching for products?
  • How much time was required to checkout successfully?

Evaluation: This is the most crucial step when you are using empathy in design. You will need to understand what the users need, their feelings, likes, dislikes, and pain points. Consider things from their points of view and not your own. Let’s consider the same example of an e-commerce site. When you notice that it took shoppers longer than usual to check out, you may want to know the causes. There could be many reasons for it. For example, the checkout process may be too long As a result of which customers had to enter unnecessary information to place the order. Or it could be due to confusing navigation menus. During the evaluation process, you must understand how the problems affected the user, whether the issue faced by other customers or not, how the problem affect your business, and, most importantly, what you must do to address the issue.

Finding Solutions: Runa brainstorming session to identify challenges and find out the solutions to the problems. For example, you can categorize the items on the product page to help customers find a more specific product. Minimize the steps to check out. Make it simple by integrating a three-step checkout process.

Implementation: Once you have the solutions, it is time to implement the best practices in design. The execution process involves clarifying the core design concepts with the team, sharing the new design with others, and identifying the scope for future improvements once the ideas are implemented. The results should be discussed with real users.

Empathy in web design is about gradual discovery instead of coming up with an idea overnight. It calls for your attention, time, effort, patience, and perspective. If you are planning to design a website from scratch, talk to our team of designers at Qvatic to understand how they can create an engaging website by integrating empathy into design thinking. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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