How You Can Be A Better Designer Using Empathy

It was a bright Tuesday morning when I got an email from my web designer, who was all aggressive to complete the web design for me. His constant messages made me check my inbox in between of client’s work and I don’t know why, but somehow I was depressed, because I was expecting a clean design echoing my business, would reflect in my inbox, but there I was looking at some vibrant, loud and not my type of design, I felt something alarmed in my brain cell, have I chosen a wrong designer or is this me who are expecting little more. I decided to give that a thought after my work gets over and I re-thought about the design and felt it was every inch of designer’s imagination but my concept my thoughts had no taste in those outputs.

No, I Am Not Wrong, but some of you might think that am over-demanding and want everything in one design and to share the fact, even I consumed myself with the same thought process, but then when I discussed with my designer, he too accepted that it was just a translation of his imagination and in the flow, he missed to add mine. No, this is not a sign of a Bad Designer, but he just skipped the most significant factor; he made the design for himself and forgot to EMPATHIZE….

Relation Between Empathy And UX

When I was a kid, I once drew a wonderful picture in the poster competition and won nothing, you may find it strange, even I too felt the same, but when I was explained later, that I painted with my imagination, but forgot why it had to be painted, I couldn’t relate to that fact at that time, but later I did, and last Tuesday my web designer brought back that memory again, when he committed the same mistake, it brought the ocean of different experiences opened up on me. When you deliver a service you need to get yourself married to your user’s problems, issues and must find a solution with your service. No, please don’t mistake it with Sympathy; these both terms are different and serve a different purpose. Let’s understand it in a way, you can understand; when you get injured, people sympathize with you, but when they try to feel your pain, they try to connect with you…that is empathy. As an app developer, you need to understand that your users need you to understand their needs and that you can achieve only when you walk-in their shoes and feel the pain where it pinches.

How To Integrate Empathy With UX

I read it somewhere, “Empathy is a platform, which lets you see through the eyes of another, listen from the ears of another and feel with the heart of another”… It’s a hard task, but once you take a hold on it, you can achieve it even. I know as a UX designer, you have your own thought process, your own set of imaginations, but at the same time your users also come up with their own issues, problems and want an interface which let them interact with their chosen style with which they can relate to. This is a process, not an event and you need to carry out certain steps to master these skills, like:

Step 1

Let Yourself Free

The pain and the efforts you have borne while excelling your designing skills need no introduction. You see yourself proficient in designing, that is a problem, because as they say, there is always a scope to improve and it means you need to break that bondage which makes you tie up with the ‘I am the best’ mode, this would help you polish your skills further and you can learn from everything in your surroundings.

Step 2

Observe What Your Users Want

The best help you can do for yourself, is investing some time in learning what your users want, this can be achieved by observing their need and what the problems are they facing, once you get a hold on these two aspects, believe me, your half battle is won, because then your design would focus majorly on giving a solution to your users from your design. Just to elaborate further, if you are asked to design a Fashion mobile app, and then concentrate who is your audience and why they need a mobile app, as a result, you would end up designing a mobile app, which gives a solution to your app users.

Step 3

Always Approach With Open-Mind

As a designer, every inch of you oozes the creativity and imagination, and you want to reflect it openly in your design, but at the same time your clients, come with a certain thoughts and ideas, so no need to rush and shush them away, rather approach your clients with an empty mind and let them express themselves, note down every bit of their requirement, apply research on it, once you are done with the analysis phase, simply integrate your creativity matching the user’s expectation and let this be a seamless transition, not a forceful act.

Step 4

Validate

When you are in the customer-based industry then you need to open yourself up to a feedback and reviews, don’t shut them down, this would only help you to improve your services better. So once you have got your designs ready, be ready to make the required amendments as per the requirements of users and don’t play a rigid game here, this would only help you to get a positive response from your users.

Something which I learned in my life, and helps me to strive for the betterment, is that I never let myself be consumed with my existing talent, I always look for better opportunities to carve my skills further…and just to update my web design is changed and developed as per my taste…JJJ

So the moral of the story is that you need to feel, see and listen from other’s perspective to excel and simply don’t sit on your laurels….and keep rocking and enjoy success….

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