This week’s reading was about empathic design and how it relates to merchandising. In past classes, I remember putting on weights and different shoes, glasses with eye conditions, and headphones to learn how elders feel when they go shopping. Getting to see what its like first hand really helped me understand how much trouble they go through while shopping. As merchandisers, we need to remember to be empathic to all people of every age group.
The oldest/ most memorable thing I have is my dad’s air force hat. I would wear it all the time when I was a kid because my dad is my hero and I wanted to be brave like he was when he was overseas. Another item I have that is extremely valuable to me is the blankets my great grandmother made for me. It was her gift to the grand kids and great grand kids for their high school graduation, but me being the youngest of the family, I came along a lot later and she knew she probably would not make it to my graduation so she made the blankets for me before she passed. Blankets seemed to be a common theme among everyone and I think it would be cool for anyone to be able to create a meaningful blanket for a relative or someone they care about to carry with them forever.
A pro for empathic design is that you can truly understand someone and relate to them somehow and use that for whatever it is you are creating. Market research has a couple of cons such as you are subjected to staying in a box for research and do not get to be on that personal level that you do with empathic design.
The five steps of empathic design are observation, data capturing, reflection/analysis, solution brainstorming, and prototype development of potential solutions. I believe that all of these steps are necessary because you need each step to build onto the next one.
I loved the design probes exercise. I feel like I didn’t get to show as much as I wanted to because it was the most stressful week of my semester, but I did still enjoy it. I loved seeing how people designed something without really knowing who they were designing for but the other person still ended up enjoying it. It was cool getting to have a little sneak peek into other people’s lives.