User Empathy in Design Thinking


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User Empathy: The First Step in Design Thinking


The reason behind great leaders bringing massive social revolutions is that they recognize and understand the needs of the people. They strive to alleviate people’s pain and suffering. The empathy of such leaders towards their people brings revolutionary changes in societies. Similarly, people who empathize and understand the motivation, goals, frustrations, and needs of the users bring innovative solutions to the world, such as the telephone and, more recently, smartphones.

For instance, Apple was experiencing a downfall, but it came back stronger by developing and designing products that fulfilled the wants and needs of the people. Their innovative solutions made them one of the best tech companies in the world.


Empathy in General

Empathy is part of human nature that everyone was born with. We can observe empathy when a baby starts crying in response to another child’s tears. In other words, when you can feel the pain and suffering of others by putting yourself in their place, you feel empathy. Unfortunately, many people forget to implement this basic attribute in their lives for many reasons.


What is User Empathy in UX Design

User Empathy Map

User Empathy Map

Empathy is the ability to understand the emotion that another person is experiencing. This aspect is essential in UX design. We cannot ignore User Experience or UX, as it facilitates a convenient and seamless interaction with the audience. It can help put organizations in the visitors’ shoes for the purpose of understanding and solving their problems. Empathy enables you to build a website as per the needs of the visitors.

How to be an Empathic Designer

Below you will find some techniques to maximize your empathy in a design-thinking process.

·       Know Your Users

You need to decide who your target users are and generate a solution for the problems they are having. You have many methods to know your target audience better, such as conducting market research, user research, or stakeholder interviews.

·       Engage with Your Users

To engage with your users effectively, design an impressive interface. All the information and details your user might need should be convenient to access. All your campaigns, offers, and best products should be available easily so that your users do not wander from one page to others. Give them options to interact with your customer service team. This way, they will know that you are there to listen to their queries. Offering different opportunities for engagement shows customers that you care about them.


Guidelines to Create User Empathy in Design

You should follow the guidelines given below while asking questions and collecting information from users:

1.    Relate with the Users

Sincerity is essential if you want to bond with your user. To strengthen your relationship, you need to show that you are relatable. This can only happen when you identify and understand the user’s pain points and the problems they deal with. You need to be open to your user, approach them through email, and connect with them on social media platforms. They will share what they want if you share a common ground with them. After that, you can share the questionnaire and discuss their preferences for a better user experience.

2.    Avoid Asking Too Many Questions

Discuss with your team and frame your questions based on the information you need. This way, you will list down important questions. It is better to ask open-ended questions that will help users explain their stories in detail. These recollections will cover their problems, situations, and tasks. The more details you collect, the more ideas you can implement on your UX design.



You can practice the above ideas to better understand your users and their conditions, and improve the product quality or service you offer to solve their problems and issues. Show them that you care by listening to their concerns, and they will show their care by being loyal to you.

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