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How Designers Foster Empathy

Posted on: 14 oct 2012

Magritte. Presence of Mind (1960)

So what else can designers do to foster empathy besides their human-centered approach and their Design Thinking process?

Work closely with business and deliver GREAT RESULTS that have positive impact on people’s lives AND meet the needs of the client.

Business and markets are now aware of the benefits that an empathic approach can bring to them for the pursuit of their goals...and these are good news for of all us because of the positive impact to people.
Reality shows that business culture and its impersonal language dominates most of the professional relations: How can empathy be nurture in such an impersonal and distant environment?.There is a need to build a new working model for contexts of diversity and professional interaction by creating a communication space with a shared language that would permit a real multidiciplinary team work. 

Design have accomplish the ability to put together sciences and design, and some designers are already working their way to get together business and design.

Nº1 TASK for designers: Develop empathy for business! 

  • Working embedded in business environments. This will allows designers to get insights that may lead to a mutual better understanding. 
  • Widen your knowledge of global markets, marketing, economy, etc., to be effective: just as you would if the task were to get an insight of another community.
  • Some designers are reluctant to any partnership with business and prefer to focus on aesthetics: Don't you think that it would be a positive impact to business to bring some aesthetics to their culture? I believe it is a awesome challenge...
  • Forget the believe that "my kind of knowledge is indescribable". Find the way to communicate. It's very possible. 
  • Do you think that business culture is boring or...? This is another awesome challenge...and you can truly improve your "thrownness ability" by practicing in outsiders environments... 
  • As a Design thinker, you can contributing with your know-how to get rid of boundaries between business and designers: Share your experiences and insights with your peers
  • Learn "business talking" to understand them and try to "teach" them a more creative storytelling: But also you need to improve your communication skills to a less complex level, focus in engaging and empathying with people. 
  • Help business to bringing more people into the conversation and foster interdisciplinarity, synergies and sharing knowledge.

And the most important of all:

Try to have fun while doing all of this!

My inspirations to write this post:

Design Thinking: Thoughts by Tim Brown


Bill Moggridge 1943-2012 

Esteban Ucros on what-design-can-do

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