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.
Empathic intelligence is such a fundamental skill in UX design because it is as close as mind reading! The ability to analyse how a person is feeling and thinking. In UX design, it mostly comes through from user research and listening.
Only with an in-depth understanding and respect of the users, are we able to design solutions that are user-centric. Anticipating the needs of users even before they ask. Understanding that design solutions are not merely creative but functional.
Technology is increasingly used by a wider range of individuals, people from various cultures to beliefs. How we support products or services that appeal to different cultures requires a level of empathy.
Appreciating that every person might use a product differently. By having an empathetic approach towards design, we can be more sensitive at the cultural context that our product serve.
Acceptance of being wrong
Empathy is also the ability to accept that we can be wrong sometimes. The acceptance that our knowledge can be fallible allows us to grow and improve.
Designing solutions suitable for users from our understanding is still largely based on interpretation. Acknowledging that our interpretation might not always be correct with people is important. It allows us to be aware and not be complacent on what we can do better to improve the lives of the users.
In summary, having the empathy to understand people’s preference and personality allows us in designing better. The influence of factors such as culture to individual bias can affect our design. Empathetic intelligence is essential to have the sensitivity in our design.