Everybody is talking about empathy. Empathy in everyday life; empathy in work; empathy in design. The latter is fast becoming a buzzword, often encapsulating any activity that makes you think about your users.
As UX specialists, we are all about understanding our clients’ target audience, but it’s so much more than simply developing a UX journey that answers a fundamental need. The key is to be able to connect with a user on a deeper level – how do they think? How do they approach problem-solving? In the context of design, empathy isn’t necessarily feeling how people feel or stepping into their shoes to adopt their lifestyle and everything that comes with it. Empathy in design is taking the time to carry out user research, absorbing it into your thinking to guide your decision-making processes. (Source)
It’s not easy to make sure that you actually empathise – this model by Seung Chan Lim can help you understand how empathy works – it’s not something you have or don’t have, it’s a process.