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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 8 Nov 1999 13:39:09 -0800
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David Gilmore <[log in to unmask]>
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"Richard I. Anderson" <[log in to unmask]>, Jane Fulton-Suri <[log in to unmask]>
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on 11/7/99 7:52 PM, Richard I. Anderson at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> someone else wrote
>> And while this need for empathy seems obvious, I've never seen it discussed
>> in anything I've read on user-centered design. As someone in the process of
>> hiring interaction designers, I'd love to have an empathy test I could give
>> potential candidates, not that I'd know where to start in developing such a
>> thing.
>
> All sorts of means exist to enable/facilitate empathy for users.  One of
> the readings you might try: "Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design,"
> Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec 97.
>
> Richard

Here at IDEO we have been practising "empathic design" for quite some time
and are mentioned in the Dorothy Leonard article Richard mentions. We also
have a few papers of our own which address how we do it.

However, most papers address ways to achieve empathic design, not ways to
assess empathic potential in a given person. We see this as just one of many
of our challenges in the usability profession - to create a sense of empathy
and a compelling sense of user needs and values even in the most
empathically challenged of designers, engineers, clients, colleagues, etc.

David Gilmore
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