Relation Between UX & Empathy

We tend to be distracted by the voices in our heads telling us what the design should look like.

                                                            – Michael Bierut, Partner at Pentagram Design

User: This is what I feel!
Designer: We know what is best for you. Keep quiet, and take what we give to you.

With this attitude, No designer can design a product with a good user experience. That is a fact.

What makes Empathy such a game-changing quality for a UX Designer?

The purpose of UX Designer is to put themselves in the user’s shoes and understand what exact problem the users are facing. Accordingly, Designing the best solution for them is what UX designers should aim for.

UX Designers work for the betterment of the users, which results in a high profitable advantage for the business!

When things proceed in the right direction, We need to think more than just business aspirations and deliver life-improving design solutions. That requires a well-planned approach to UX research. In this article, I am going to talk about four UX research methods that inspire user empathy and helps us to come up with better user experiences.

UX Research Methods which Embarks User Empathy

1. Card Sorting – The method in which study participants group individual labels written on notecards according to criteria that make sense to them. This will reveal how the target audience’s mental model works to organize the information accordingly, and it helps the UX Designers to create the most optimized Information Architecture for the product, Which will suit the users’ requirements as well.

What drives user empathy in card sorting?

Usually, the people with good knowledge of the product organize the information that is logically correct and makes sense to the people with the same level of understanding. However, the target audience or the users are not very familiar with the product and the internal knowledge about the whole thing. They perform the card sorting according to their understanding, which makes sense to them instead of relying on internal knowledge of the product. The process reveals the UX patterns, which help the designer to understand the mental model of the user and design accordingly.

2. User Survey – The survey is a set of questions used to collect topic-specific information, users’ preferences, and opinions about the product from a representative sample of the target audience.

What drives user empathy in card sorting?

User surveys are verified online, Which makes their feedback more usable and unfiltered as compared to in-person interviews Since Users feel more comfortable taking the surveys where they’ve been or where they feel home. By analyzing these responses and feedback, UX Designers can learn a lot about the problems and perspectives of the users about a product.

3. Ethnographic Research – This is a qualitative method to learn about the users’ reactions and the way they interact with the product in their natural environment. It’s useful to analyze the in-depth insights of the users’ perspectives and actions towards the products. It provides the researchers with knowledge of how the users are interacting and how they see the world around them.

The research can take hours to several months, depending on the product for which it has to be done. It has no limit in terms of place and time. The researcher can perform it anywhere and at any time, be it Workplace, Home, or even if the user is out somewhere with someone if the user has no objection to it.

What drives user empathy in card sorting?

Research that is being conducted in the real world or natural environment of the user will always have the upper hand. It brings out the unforeseeable obstacles and things that usually user do not show in personal interviews.
This method helps the Designers to see every inch of the user’s life and leverage them to witness things that can become an obstacle for a better product’s user experience, Which can be included in the design process for a much better outcome.

4. Contextual Inquiry – A contextual inquiry is an in-person interview in which the users are being observed and simultaneously interviewed while performing a task given by the researcher. The environment for the interview is pleasant and sober to make users feel comfortable So that they can perform without any pressure. The process is driven by users and not by the interviewer or the researcher.

What drives user empathy in card sorting?

When a user interacts with a product often, they develop a certain pattern of knowledge which helps them to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the same. This method will be helpful for the Designers and Researchers to learn what exactly could’ve been better in the product that can lead to a better user experience along with business profitability.

Conclusion

Choose the right purpose, and people will be attracted, motivated, and unified.

                              – Robert Wong, Vice President at Google Creative Lab

When a user interacts with a product often, they develop a certain pattern of knowledge which helps them to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the same. This method will be helpful for the Designers and Researchers to learn what exactly could’ve been better in the product that can lead to a better user experience along with business profitability.

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