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Empathic Design The Smart Entrepreneur

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Empathic Design

The Smart Entrepreneur

GREAT IDEA!

But does anyone want it?

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Empathic Design: the background

“We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybodyelse. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.”

Steve Jobs

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Some inventors and entrepreneurs are gifted with an ability to foresee what people will like in the future, based on their

experience and observation of the world....

Many, on the other hand, make assumptions about users based on superficial information – and fail to make successful products

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

On the other hand...

“For something this complicated, it’s really

hard to design products by focus groups.

A lot of times, people don’t know what they

want until you show it to them. […]

The broader one’s understanding of the

human experience, the better design we will

have.”

Steve Jobs

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Empathic design is a user-centred design research

• Peoples’ needs at the centre of your project

• A process which looks carefully at the way people do things to find out what they might really want

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

A user - anyone who comes into contact with a product.

They may choose, touch or use your product - including internal staff, installers, buyers, specifiers, distributors etc

USERS?

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Empathic design is useful for serving

• special interest groups such as children, diabetics, people in highly specialised jobs

• people whose needs you may not fully understandif you are not one of them yourself

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Understanding the consumer is the aim

What does it feel like to be short-sighted?

What does it feel like to be old? Or disabled?

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Clear your mind of pre-conceptions…

… look more closely with a fresh view

(are you sure women over 60 prefer beige?)

Empathic design is not a complete replacement

for more traditional market research, but rather a

valuable guide for early product development

before committing to prototypes.

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

10 things Many insights

Market Research Design Research

Comparing research methods

Lots of people

few people

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Focus groups

Questionnaires /surveys

Comparing research methods

Ethnography

User CentredDesign research

Great for innovationGreat for validation

Market Research Design Research

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Great for validation!

Focus groups

Questionnaires /surveys

Comparing research methods

1. Users don’t behave as we expect

2. They often find great solutions to their own problems

3. They don’t say what they feel and don’t know what they want next

If you just do this…

You might miss out. Why?

Clare Brass, RCA

Copyright of Clare BrassRCA

Users often ‘solve’ things without saying there is a ‘problem’

User behaviour with existing product Possible source of a better solution? (Borrowing from the honey spoon)

Credit: designrechercheon IDEO ‘Thoughtless Acts’ pageFor this and other examples see: http://www.flickr.com/groups/thoughtlessacts/

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

The Empathic Design Process

• Step 1: Observation

• Step 2: Capturing data

• Step 3: Reflection and analysis

• Step 4: Brainstorming for solutions

• Step 5: Developing prototypes of possible solutions

Source: Leonard & Rayport 1997

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Step 1: Observation

• WHO is observing?

People with different backgrounds or expertise are likely to notice

different things

• WHAT are you observing?

observe users in a live setting

take notes, take pictures or use video/audio recording that you can revisit later

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Follow people around

Be nosey Recreate walk-throughs

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Ask people to record what they do

…allow them to make discoveries

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Different approaches to observe

• Inventing personas• Inclusive design:

• margins to mainstream

• market-centred design: targeting the average • Extreme users• Virtual observation: observation over the Web or an

electronic network (e.g. a company’s internal network)/ observing and gathering metrics

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

What if you can’t find a real user?

Inventing Personas

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

How to do it ?

• Think of a person you know (not you)

• Give them a name, and invent some basic facts about them

• Start by telling a story about the life of your persona then make up the rest to explore unexpressed needs and desires that they might have

• Think of what they might say or do that fit with the story

Inventing Personas

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

How do personas help innovate?Personas are imaginary people

They help innovating by:

• Helping to avoid “grounding”

• Creating visual profiles with which to tell stories

• Enabling simulation real life situations

• Building empathy and understanding of a user

• Providing a perspective of different users

Personas can uncover ideas for products as well as services.Help to communicate ideas through stories

Inventing Personas

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Step 2: Capturing data

• During observation/note taking:visual, sound and sensory clues!

• During conversation:ask open-ended instead of Yes/No questions

»e.g. ‘Why are you doing that’

• Look back over pictures and recordings – you may capture extra detail not noticed during the live session

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Need forReassurance

Nesting

Playfulness

Isolation BoredomWaking up too early to catch plane

Worries I maymiss the plane

Taking a taxi to the airportCabbie says we will make it

Worrying I mayhave forgottensomething

Get to the airport and check-inBig relief

On planeExcited aboutthe trip

Food

FoodFood

Lost in airportPoor signage

Shared ride from airportnice people

At hotel, at last, nice roomRelax!

Traffic jamsFrustrating

Queuing for customs

“landing in 10minutes”

Check time: still a long way to go

Not spoken to inEnglish again

An hour with nothing happening

Award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

A Mood-o-gram: One Person’s Emotional Journey by IDEO

Step 3: Reflection and analysis

When reviewing and analysing the information:

• Ask other people who were not present at the observation session: no bias/ different point of view

• What problems, habits and/or preferences have you and your colleagues observed in users?

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Brainstorming:a process for generating new ideas

• No criticism of ideas

• Go for large quantities of ideas

• Build on each others ideas – “yes, and…”

• Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas

Step 4: Brainstorm solutions

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

• Fast• Fun• Visual • As wild as you want

Purpose: to create as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time. Limiting any ideas during a brainstorm only hampers the process, and sometimes, a bad idea can lead to a great idea.

Brainstorming:a process for generating new ideas

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Step 4: Brainstorm solutions

Prototyping?

Not only a highly finished model

Step 5: Develop prototypes of possible solutions

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Proof-of-Principle PrototypeTests broad aspects of the intended design

Form Study PrototypeSize, shape, look & feel

User Experience Prototype Active human interaction – not aesthetic

Visual PrototypeAppearance, colour, texture etc not functional

Visual Prototype / working prototypeMay be smaller but fully working

Different types of prototypes

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Testing and prototyping

mitigates risk

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Prototyping

• Fail early to succeed later

• Rough prototypes – better to be quick, dirty and early rather than slow, perfect and late

• Use ‘just enough’ technology to get going - e.g. use PowerPoint to fake software, cardboard to fake interiors, etc

• ‘Throwing away’ prototypes is important and takes courage - more reason to put in minimum effort

• Involve your users in your prototyping

Copyright of Clare Brass, RCA

Example: weaning baby bottles

Design Continuum designed a line of bottles for Chicco, the Italian baby products brand

• By observing babies and mothers at home and small children in their kindergarten classes, the designers conceived a progressive line of bottles that would gradually encourage and help the child to become more independent on the path from breast feeding to drinking from a glass.

• The bottles were conceived to meet the needs of children, mothers and pre-school teachers alike.

Source: http://www.icsid.org/news/year/2006_news/articles267.htm

Product names:‘Take Up’, ‘Pull Up’, ‘Twist and Turn’

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

More information on Methods

More information and examples of methods can be found on the ‘Designing With People’ website of the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre

http://designingwithpeople.rca.ac.uk/methods

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

EthicsThe Market Research Society sets out in its Code of

Conduct:

The [research] team will adhere to an ethical code when carrying out research and executing the project:

• We will declare our intentions and what we are looking for from participants and why it is valuable as clearly as we can.

• We will let participants know they can refuse to answer any questions and choose to discontinue research at any point.

• We value participants as collaborators, but all participants’ identities will be kept confidential, unless otherwise requested.

• Participants will be asked for permission before any images or videos are taken.

• Compensation for participants’ time will be offered where possible.

• We will not be judgmental of participants.

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Ethics – a few exceptions

There are some grey areas, for example:

• It’s allowable to take pictures of people without asking permission in public spaces where people can expect to be observed;

• However, technically it is said you should have signage stating what you are doing, so you may find it easier to just ask if you can take their picture.

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Conclusion

Empathic design is a powerful tool in the early stages of product development and ideation to:

• Gather information and insight which target users may not even

know about themselves

• Understand what clients really need and think of how to provide

it, along with solving problems more effectively

• Think of product requirements, uses and features that may not

have occurred to you before

• Create products which users can connect with emotionally

• Probably beat the competition as a result!

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur

Further reading and info

• Clarysse, B. and Kiefer, S., 2011. The Smart Entrepreneur. London: Elliot & Thompson, Ch. 9.

• Leonard, D. and Rayport, J.F., 1997. Spark Innovation through Empathic Design. Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec.

• Royal College of Art’s ‘Designing with People’ website:http://designingwithpeople.rca.ac.uk/

• University of Loughborough’s ‘design-behaviour’ site:http://www-staff.lboro.ac.uk/~cddl/index.htm

• Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design:http://www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/301/all/1/Industry.aspx

Copyright of Bart Clarysse and Sabrina KieferThe Smart Entrepreneur