Walk a Mile: Empathic Design

What is empathy?  How does empathy affect our industry?

Although I did not have an epiphany this week, I learned so much about empathy and empathic design in our industry.  Empathy is walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.  Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s situation in an attempt to feel the feelings they are feeling.  As designers and innovators, it is our duty to work toward empathic design.  Empathic design can make such an impact on this industry if implemented correctly.

As fellow designers, we should come together and build assortments according to individual needs.  We must empathize with our consumer and feel the constant struggle of finding clothing that fits to perfection.  Empathic design is relevant because we would have a larger pool of happy consumers.   If each consumer could have perfectly tailored designs, why would they not be overjoyed?

The reading was useful because it gave us an insight into a new way of thinking.  This new way of thinking can innovate our entire industry into a new way of designing!

This new type of design could be extremely useful, but also a huge struggle in the current industry.  The struggle is the practicality of it.  How is it possible to design completely tailored items for 7 billion people?  Although this idea is not practical yet, I hope that one day we can move toward complete empathic design.  Until then, we must modify our designs to satisfy a larger pool of consumers.  It is important to constantly be thinking about what your consumer wants and try to coordinate your designs with these desires.

We should move away from being a design-centered industry, to a user-centered industry.  We need to produce for longevity and individuality, not mass production and wastefulness.

It would be useful to learn more about ways that we as designers can move toward empathic design in a faster paced, but practical way.  We need to make a move right now toward empathic design, but keep in mind the practicality of how huge changes can affect a business and our livelihood as designers.  The time to make a change is now.

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