What user experience design tries to achieve is not merely the aesthetically pleasing or about new features. User experience design focuses on solving problems from a user perspective, while achieving business goals. Making life a bit easier for users through better design.
Empathy is defined as the ability to put oneself in someone else shoes, to feel what they are feeling and understand what they are going through. It is also the acknowledgement that we may hold views that may not be accurate or bias.