Empathic design has been an ongoing lesson for my classmates and me for the past two weeks. After having learned about design probes each student in our class was able to keep track of their day and submit anonymous slide shows of pictures and signs about how they were feeling. We realized that you can sell a lot easier to a customer when you know more about them. Working for a retail store, I see this regularly. Based on moods, and weather and times of the year we arrange products in our store to make more sales. And on a more empathic level, when a customer comes up to me and asks for my help for an outfit for an event I find myself asking them a little bit about them so I can make a more educated guess on what they would like and what is something they would actually wear. Another thing you can pick up on is their attitude and sometimes what they are already wearing that day. In class we talked about what makes a design probe effective and what does not, this really teaches us how to creatively think of ways to get all of the information we need to make better decisions in our future careers whether it be in design, merchandising, or interior design. This topic really brings together many of the topics we have learned from different classes in our college career. Knowledge of consumer behavior, marketing, and visual design, along with psychology and other classes really make it easier to understand theconcept of empathic design and how to use it in our lives.
As part of learning community number one in our class, my group and I presented some ideas of empathic design for the Lola Show. We each shared videos that made it much easier to understand how empathic design works, and some examples of empathic design. I myself, used a video of someone making furniture for children. The creators put themselves in the position of the kids that would be using this furniture and the end result was exactly what they wanted—kids having fun and playing with the furniture and using their imagination and just being playful. I think we have learned a lot about this topic and look forward to learning more this semester.