I once sat next to a newly-diagnosed MS patient while walking him through an online description of the progression of that disease. It was devastating.

Another time I interviewed a long-suffering Psoriasis  patient about her frustration with the lack of progress on treatment. It was infuriating. 

I once sat next to a job seeker who had been unemployed for 2 weeks. He was invincible. And so was I. 

Yet another time I sat next to a jobseeker who was unemployed for 6 months. He was desperate for communication – of any kind. So we talked. 

Empathy is the true comprehension of what our customers, visitors and users feel when they reach out for our service. Without it, we’re designing blind. 

Get out of your cube, office or co-working space. Go meet your customers. Ask them how they’re feeling. Understand them and they’ll know it. You’ll find them in your products and services. 


About Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf is a lean thinking and design evangelist, spreading the gospel of great team collaboration, product innovation and evidence-based decision making. Jeff is an author, speaker and thought leader on the future of product development and design, often teaching workshops or giving talks on building cultures that support teamwork and innovation. Jeff co-founded Neo Innovation, a lean/agile product firm in NYC. Prior to that, he led the UX design teams at TheLadders and Web Trends. Earlier he worked with and led small teams of software designers at AOL. He is the co-author (with Josh Seiden) of Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience and the upcoming (Harvard, 2016) Sense and Respond (sensingbook.com).
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685137497 Kerry Pearce Parkins

    Most important piece of advice for anyone designing a product someone will interact with. Great post.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/edwin.rutsch Edwin Rutsch

    My I suggest a further resources to learn more about empathy and compassion. nnThe Center for Building a Culture of EmpathynThe Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews, u00a0videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.nhttp://CultureOfEmpathy.comnnLet’s Find 1 Million People Who Want to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassionnhttp://Causes.com/Empathy nn n

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