Empathic design is designing with empathy. Empathic design focuses more on meanings, experiences, social interactions, culture, emotions, and values rather than profits. Empathic design is designed for values instead of sales. Empathic design has a deeper meaning than just market driven research. Empathic design is designing solutions for customers that are satisfying. I feel more products need to be made with an empathic design mindset. If customers are more satisfied with products then the profits will naturally flow in. Companies seeking to get to know their market by asking and researching their problems can make great innovations and sales by making solutions to their issues.
Paul Bennet is a great example of empathic design. He worked with hospital patients and was wiling to listen to them to understand their needs and wants. He conducted experiments to see what solutions need to be made. One experiment he did was lay in a hospital bed staring up at the ceiling. He realized that it wasn’t very attractive to look at and was somewhat depressing. He then started to make leaf designs for the ceiling. He also made the rooms feel more private and inviting by changing the flooring from the hallway to the hospital room. Designing with empathy really changed the look and feel of several hospital environments.
For the oldest item reflection, I brought a stuffed animal of mine to class. I have a stuffed animal Dalmatian named “Oddball”. I told the story of how I used to have one exactly like the one I have now and what happened to it. While on a family vacation, when I was a child, the first Dalmatian was left in a hotel room and was never seen again. I just assumed I lost it and would never be able to replace it. Several years when by and one day I came home to a package on my bed. I opened it up and found a new Oddball Dalmatian. My dad spent many years tracking down and looking for a replacement. It meant so much to me that he would take the time and remembered to find one after all those years. It is one of my most valued items and I will always cherish it.