Blog 7

Empathic Design is important because it is what makes one attached to an object or a system. It allows an item or service to be created around what an individual deems important. Empathic design should be incorporated more not only because it allows an individual to have a product or service that they care about, but a product that can be kept for a long period of time making it sustainable. If companies keep creating things that there is not emotional attachment or even real need for, the products are going to get tossed to the side more quickly for something even better. We should care about how an item is presented or looks, but having a real attachment is what is going to create a better and more lasting product or service in the long run.

Paul Bennett is an individual who creates empathic design. He was brought into a hospital situation to see how he may better the environment for patients there as well as future patients. He noticed that the majority of the patients just could stare at the ceiling all day because they were stuck in bed. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation and could actually slow down the healing process. Bennett realized that tiny, collective things are what make a true difference. He added painted ceiling, mirrors to wheelchairs so that patients could interact with the nurse or guest pushing them while sitting, and put white boards in each room so that the nurses, doctors, or guests could write encouraging letters onto the board. He states its important for empathic design to come in with a clean slate. Look at situations differently and you just may come up with more ideas that are better and ideas that people can better connect with. When you put yourself in others shoes, you are forced to see their perspective and that could help make it better for everyone.

My oldest item is a stuffed dog. I have had my stuffed dog since I was a toddler. His name is Patches. I have actually lost this dog too many times than I can count, but I was so attached that my family felt compelled to get me a new one every time that I did. I think I grew an attachment to patches at a young age for various reasons. I have always loved animals, and children like soft items. Patches is a stuffed dog and is very soft. My family also gave him to me, which is also another reason for attachment. I still have him and cannot even fathom losing him. I would love one day to pass him down to my own children.

I spoke to my grandfather for the older individual talk. He spoke about the issue of parking. He has very bad hips and knees and is also diabetic. Because he is an older individual he does not have good sweat glands and he tends to sweat in large amounts. He told me that when all handicapped spots are taken, he has an extremely difficult time walking into a store. It is discouraging because he still would like to get out of the house but struggles in this circumstance. I thought a good empathic solution would be for stores to open more than four handicapped spots, or maybe to open more veteran spots because he did fight in Vietnam. A store could also have someone available in order to help any individual struggling inside whether that be physically helping them or simply talking to them while they walk to keep them going and make them feel normal.

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