The topic of empathy keeps surfacing across a multitude of articles, on Medium and other platforms. It’s an interesting and arresting topic, but we should thrive to also consider other points of view/perspectives on that topic and its touch points with the Design Discipline/Universe. While empathy as a human quality is something to be cherished and treasured, as Designers we should thrive to understand, research the audiences who will ultimately be utilizing the products/features being devised. The fact that we as Designers are able to empathize with the audiences that will be using the solution, doesn’t validate us as experts on what users actually do, their paths, motivations and expected outcomes. Users don’t live in bubbles, they are surrounded by a series of diverse factors, including but not limited to, political, economical, social discrepancies, religious influences, which permeate across every day actions and motivations for users. As much empathy as we claim to have, that will never replace insights gathered from research (including user interviews, usability testing sessions, desirability studies, among others). The article from the fantastic Don Norman is one to look at and very relevant for this topic of Empathy in Design —

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I’m a Design Professional. I’ve been Designing Products since 2001. http://canhenha.myportfolio.com

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