In the article this week, it was interesting to read an idea for a completely re-designed supermarket experience. Learning about the way the shopping experience can be burdensome to older adults and impaired individuals helped inspire the idea of Shopsense. By thinking about the needs of those individuals, the new grocery store experience diminishes any need of grocery carts, check-out lines, or confusing layouts. They also plan on merchandising their items in a clearer way to make shopping as efficient and effective as possible.
The oldest/ most memorable item I own is my baby blanket. My blanket was very valuable to me growing up (as a child obviously) as I took it and slept with it everywhere I went. The fabric actually got softer with age, and it was durable enough to last years. Empathetic design can be beneficial because you truly understand the consumer you are inventing for. By designing empathetically, you design with a fresh new view on something you may have any pre-conceptions on. That being said, empathic design doesn’t completely replace traditional market research.
Observation is the first step in the empathetic design process. It’s important to understand that people with different backgrounds live with a different persona. The second step of empathetic design is capturing the data by asking open-ended questions, and using visual, sound, and sensory clues. Step three includes reflection and analysis. This includes asking other people who were not present their point of view. Brainstorming solutions is the fourth step, then developing prototypes or possible solutions is the fifth step. They are all important because empathetic design should touch on any and all possible solutions for anything or anyone. In order to solve a specific problem, the solution, and steps in the process should be specific as well.
I learned from the design probes exercise that by learning about simple parts of peoples’ day, (like what they eat, wear, or do) you can make real helpful assumptions about them. I thought it was interesting that the learning community who designed a temperature changing cup from my power point noticed that I drank a lot of things throughout my day.