Humanizing Technology: The Essentials of Empathy-Driven UX Design

Ashutosh Chandra | 2nd September 2020

When User Experience Design Services aim to create a remarkable product, they care about every detail and emotion they experience when interacting with it. They do so even at the initial phases of development. Often driven by feelings and emotions, the designers should also pay particular attention to them in UX design. Your user is not a substance or something abstract but somebody who feels, interacts, and experiences.

In this blog, we will consider the essentials of empathy-driven user experience design. This will assist in creating better mobile apps, websites, and other digital products. It’s not a data-based guide, but very subjective insights gained when co-creating digital products with different companies.

 

Empathy-Driven Design


Empathy-Driven UX DesignSource: Koncept App

Empathy-driven design implies paying particular attention not only to the product’s usability but also to the user’s feelings that might arise during the interaction with a product.

Just recall what you felt first when switched on your newly purchased Apple device? Excitement, delight, satisfaction? At least, these were my emotions toward it. The ability to feel them each time I use Apple became a significant reason to choose it among other brands. The sleek surface, beautiful design, intuitive navigation, and innovation met my personal requirements to a mobile device. It is just an example of how an empathy-driven UX design can influence the customer’s purchasing decision.

Your users perceive digital products similarly. They expect to experience nearly the same emotions when using mobile apps, web applications, or websites. Try to evoke these feelings by eliminating infelicities in navigation, caring about aesthetics, testing your UX countless number of times, and adding a pinch of humor and innovation with vivid animation in your mobile app or website. There are also many use cases of how illustration can improve your UX design.

Also, Read | Leveraging Mental Models For A Better UX Design


Intersection of Empathy-Driven Design and User-Oriented Approach

 

Empathy-driven design is closely related to a user-oriented approach. The main idea of a user-oriented approach is that you shouldn’t be indifferent to people who use your products. To create a product that addresses customer needs, you should co-experience everything they do in their everyday lives. What problems do they encounter during the day? During the week? Or in some particular situations? You should investigate them and create a product that solves them.

Step into your customer’s shoes and empathize with your users. Having a realistic image of your target user and understanding their lives inside and out is can help you build a remarkable product.

 

Principles of the Empathy-Driven Mobile and Web User Experience

 

  • Human-centered approach

 

Human-Centered-Design

Image source: Praxent

 

When it goes about a human-oriented approach, it also goes about user testing. Testing. And testing once again. It’s recommended to conduct user testing at each step of the product development journey, from the prototype to a full-fledged product. User testing at the beginning of the development process will save much more time and effort at all the next phases. It allows you to step into the user’s shoes each time you use a product.

 

Related Effective UX Strategies For Crafting Human-Centred Instructional Experiences

 

  • Balance of cognitive load

     

When testing a product, pay particular attention to cognitive load. It is the ability of the mental processing power needed to use a product. If we process more information than usual, it may cause the user’s psychological discomfort and distract from the end-goal of interaction with a product. It’s called cognitive overload. When it occurs, it means that the product performance and usability suffer and require improvement. It’s usually triggered by factors such as a cluttered UI design, inconvenient navigation, too many distracting details, too much text, and an untraditional menu that doesn’t correspond to the user’s behavior patterns.

 

  • Timelessness

 

 

The timeless design is the design that exists beyond trends, times, and tastes. By caring about the product’s timelessness, we also care about its versatility.

A timeless product suits different people, cultures, and even times. This approach also implies that a product can evoke almost the same emotions today, tomorrow, or in the future. Mostly, timeless products are created with respect to the empathy-driven UX design and take the user’s feelings into account. They are usually unobtrusive, minimalist, convenient, innovative, and long-lasting.

 

  • Simplicity & Intuitiveness

     

Keep it simple and intuitive, and it’ll good for everyone. Being unoriginal is undesired but may be forgiven by users. However, being inconvenient and complicated usually means that you may lose your audience at all. Try to nail a design that makes a product understandable and helpful. The designer’s primary mission is to design a product that amazes with its beautiful innovation and freshness but doesn’t make the user think of the next step when using it. It’s should be simple in terms of usability.

 

3 Steps for Building an Empathy-Driven UX Design

 

Empathy-Driven UX Design   Source: Ted-Ed Blog

 

  • Build a target user-persona

     

A target user persona is an image of an ideal person who is intended to use your product. Before you start creating a product, you should investigate your target audience. Who are the people you’re designing for? Who are they by professions, family status, age, gender, and nationality? You must understand their daily needs and problems. Explore their behavior patterns. With qualitative and quantitative data about your target audience, you have more chances to create a product that matches the user’s reality.

 

  • Research the problems of users

The next step is discovering user problems. Be sure you have found the core problem, not its symptoms. The core problem may cause plenty of others. By eliminating the root problem, you also mitigate the risks of new, symptomatic problems. Why is problem research so important? Because a successful product is the one that solves the right user problems.

 

  • Research competitors

Before making your own mistakes during the creation process, you may learn a lot from your competitors who have already launched their products and tested them with your target audience. It helps you find out what your target users like and hate. You can check product reviews and investigate what people say about this product on social media.

Social networks are very powerful tools of distribution of the information and collecting customer feedback about different products and brands. It will enable you to predict and avoid many UX problems before the product launch and spend less time and effort on user testing.

 

Conclusion

 

Empathy-driven signifies humanized. The future is fastly rushing to us, bringing even more innovations and more natural human-machine interaction. By caring about the empathy-driven UX design of digital products today, we contribute to an amazing process of creating the humanized technology of the future.
Get in touch with our User Experience Design Services for our services and more assistance.

About Author

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Ashutosh Chandra

Ashutosh is a blogger and technical writer at Oodles, who covers topics ranging from Branding, UI/UX design, Graphic design to other design and technology-related matters.

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