Paul Bennett from IDEO spoke in a TED talk video we watched in class. He spoke about what the big wants verses what the small wants and the blinding glimpse of the bleeding obvious. He asked the question of “What is the patient experience?” By answering this question, he took a video staring at the ceiling of a boring hospital room. He realized there needed to be something more. The average hospital room wasn’t personal at all, but the new designs he though of are. Example of new design changes were the floor changing when you walk in, so that it feels like it’s your space (not just public but private too). Another empathic design implemented was the dry erase board that allows visitors to write notes to the person stuck in the hospital room. Another thing he kept in mind about the empathic design had to do with finding yourself in the margins (looking to the edge of things/through peripherals). They designed a palm pilot device for when people are getting a needle stuck through their spine. The device is for the nurse so he/she can hold the patients hand which scrolling on the device with his/her other hand. Some other empathic design ideas to keep in mind are: having beginners mind, and picking battles big enough to matter but small enough to win.
We reflected on old or valuable items in class, and I brought a glass coke bottle that was filled with sand from Destin, Florida. This meant a lot to me because I was in a discipleship/leadership program last summer called Kaleo. When I was there, my d-group leader told my group to take our coke bottles and fill them with sand. The grains of sand represented all the people that we could have an impact on in life through sharing the Gospel. It is a representation that is near and dear to my heart. I also loved getting to hear about things that were meaningful to everyone in the class. It was inspiring!
When it comes to empathic design, I just think about stepping into someone else’s shoes to make something that will help make life a little easier for them. This is a good way to look at anything in life. We all need to take a step in someone else’s shoes, even if sometimes that means literally, like Paul Bennet did. If we could all take a step in someone else’s shoes, the world would be a better place.