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Would You Treat Them Differently?

All of our minds are filled with things that no one else will ever know. “If you could stand in someone else’s shoes, hear what they hear, see what they see, feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?” This is the question asked by the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top hospitals in [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...]

The Thief and The Healer

I was on Skype conducting a stakeholder interview with a client in London when my boyfriend returned to the apartment. He had just left for an appointment 5 minutes earlier. “So sorry to bother you, honey,” he whispered, “but your car was broken into.” I went deaf for a moment as my client continued answering [Keep Reading...]

On Empathy and Apathy: Two Case Studies

The suffix -pathy means “feeling” or “suffering” The prefix em- means “within” or “inside” The prefix a- means “not” or “without” By definition, empathy is the opposite of apathy. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” — within + feeling or inside + suffering. Apathy is defined as [Keep Reading...]

Alan Alda falls victim to McAfee’s dreadful customer experience

A month ago, my mom forwarded me an article from the New York Times that I only got around to reading now (as is known to happen with forwards from Mom). Turns out she picked a good one: a forehead-slapper about acclaimed actor Alan Alda’s helluva time canceling his McAfee email monitoring: Theater of the [Keep Reading...]

The Empathy Belly at Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Despite the lack of hard evidence that Ford actually uttered those words, the phrase is wielded by lots of designers and business owners who want to justify basing decisions on their instincts rather than engage [Keep Reading...]

How “When I…” Reasoning Poisons a Team

Earlier this year I had a client who hired me to redesign the first step in their 3-step process. The page was getting loads of customer complaints and the last three iterations on the design hadn’t helped. As always, I started the project by interviewing key stakeholders: the product manager, the product owner, the head [Keep Reading...]