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Empathy is the Core of Design Thinking

David Kelley is the founder and chairman of IDEO, probably the world’s best-known design innovation consultancy. Though not quite a household name, Kelley has arguably made as much of an impact on the field of design as the late Steve Jobs — in fact, it was under Kelley’s leadership that IDEO designed the first mouse [Keep Reading...]

Empathy is the Antidote to Shame

shame n. A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. v. To make someone feel ashamed. In her TED talk Listening to Shame, vulnerability researcher Brené Brown exposes the truth about shame: we all feel it. Shame gets in our way. It negatively impacts how we treat [Keep Reading...]

More Empathy, Better Design

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” ~ Steve Jobs [Wired, February 1996]

How to Conduct Yourself While Conducting Interviews

I spend most of my time these days coaching senior leaders and product teams on how to build empathy for their customers and colleagues. This is what my consulting business has evolved into over time. One of the tools we use are one-on-one interviews with stakeholders and customers. The goal is to discover the behaviors, [Keep Reading...]

The Enduring Misconceptions of User Experience Design

A couple weeks ago I suddenly saw a resurgence of interest in an article I wrote for Mashable in January 2009 titled, 10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design. Later that year I turned it into a presentation and had a pretty good run with it, until I felt that my message was widely [Keep Reading...]

Hostess treats their customers as badly as they treat their employees

If you haven’t heard, Hostess is filing for bankruptcy. Hostess Brands, known for making iconic snacks such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, is closing its plants, letting go of 18,000 workers, and totally liquidating its assets. A massive union strike and tremendous debt brought them here. But underneath it all, the real reason [Keep Reading...]

Being Good

There’s a very interesting post in NY Times Bits Blog today, comparing Monday’s departure of Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, with Apple’s firing of Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software, two weeks ago. In the post, the author asks, “When do the costs of keeping brilliant leaders who cannot seem [Keep Reading...]