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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
In April, I posted a tweet that became one of my most retweeted of all time. Designing the product is all for naught if you don’t first take the time to design the organization. — Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) April 20, 2012 It was a single statement that was the culmination of 9 months of identity [Keep Reading…]
It all comes down to one word: empathy. At Harvard Business School, renowned professor Clay Christensen helps his students see that the role of a business is to solve someone’s problem -– and therefore, by their very nature, all businesses are an exercise in empathy. James Allworth, a fellow at Harvard Business School’s Forum for [Keep Reading…]
A customer is defined as a person who pays a business for goods and services. If a person does not pay, they are not a customer. The nebulous term of “user” is assigned when a person is accessing goods and services without directly paying for them. Call them a visitor, a prospect, a constituent, whatever you want. Until they pay you, they’re no customer of yours — and you have not fulfilled upon your purpose as a business.