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Empathy to Innovation

Posted in Customer Experience, Customer Insights, Design, Design Thinking, Experience Design, and Innovation

Empathy is the tool that we use to gain understanding. Understanding leads to insights. Insight is what informs experiments. Experimentation results in innovation.

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own. You try to imagine yourself in their place in order to understand what they are feeling or experiencing. A great way to do that is with an Empathy Map.

Understanding is the comprehension of the general relations of particulars. The power to make experience intelligible by applying concepts and categories. Developing Personas is a great way to communicate your understanding of people in context of the experiences you are delivering.

Insight is the understanding of a specific cause and effect within a specific context. Journey Maps are a perfect tool to gather and put insights in context of specific experiences.

An experiment is a procedure carried out to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Prototyping and testing are classic ways to run your experiments.

Innovation is powered by a thorough understanding of what people want and need in their lives. Before you can innovate, you must empathize to gain understanding, form insights, run experiments, learn, iterate and invent.

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