“Empathy” is a conception process focused on people. Like a profiler would, the principle is to develop a deep understanding of users and their stakes, to put yourself in their position in order to better meet their needs. To show empathy you must:
- Observe: Using Shadowing, which relies on following users in real situations and understanding their behaviors. The purpose is to identify which emotions lead to which behaviors so as to discover the - possibly unconscious - needs of the users.
- Interact: Interviewing users during planned or unplanned meetings. It will glean useful information for the rest of the project (personae, experience / empathy map, customer journey ...)
- Immerse yourself: Put yourself in the shoes of the user, leaving aside your own preconceptions and prejudices. That form exercise, akin to role-playing, will allow you to better understand the situations experienced by your users, and thus find appropriate solutions.
Once you get to the “Definition” stage, the goal is to make a synthesis of all the work produced at the “Empathy” stage in order to define issues with clarity and establish an angle of attack to solve them.
This angle of attack will aim to:
- Focus on specific users as well as the needs (sometimes unconscious) previously identified.
- Leave aside the "how do we do it?" and focus on the "why do we do it?”.
- Reformulate based on what Empathy taught you, and generate innovative solutions.
The stage of Conceptualisation is to make it pop ideas and to explore alternatives ideas rather than focusing on one solution. To do so, we invite you to use divergent thinking by multiplying different options and therefore generate as many innovative ideas as possible.
There are many brainstorming techniques (mind mapping, 5 whys, 1 2 4 all ...), but it is important to :
- Go beyond the obvious solutions : This exercise is made for you to think deeper,
- Build on the ideas of others, without judging or preconception, there is a lot more in several brains than one,
- Generate a substantial number of lead to explore.
Having completed the "Conceptualization" stage, you reach the "Prototyping" stage. Several ideas have emerged in the previous stage and this is where they come to life.
Several ideas have emerged in the previous stage and this is where they come to life. Whatever the means (post-it, interface, storyboard, roleplay...), the important thing is to materialize them in order to:
- Explore the different ideas and spot the most obvious flaws.
- Experiment to gain empathy. Prototyping will deepen understanding of the design as well as understanding of the users.
- Use the different prototypes to refine the solutions with the product team or people outside the project.
Now that the best solutions have been identified, it is time to test the product in its entirety. The test results obtained during this phase will be the basis for iterating until find the most suitable solution is reached. Key points are:
- Going back to the prototype phase to improve the solution is a fitting option to improve and to enhance the product.
- Failure is not final, but in fact necessary for the project to properly go forward. Backing up to move forward is essential: "fail fast to learn faster".
- Observing your users will increase your empathy and potentially lead to discovering unexpected behaviors.
This step is often rich in unexpected lessons