Design Thinking – Empathy

Learning something new takes time, research, energy and lots of patience for trial and error.

As I continue to learn more about design thinking, the next step is application. It’s the best way to test what you’ve learned.

IDEO has deconstructed design thinking fairly well. They have open resources to pull from and practice the creatove confidence.

Generally, you start off with Empathy. Empathy is the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. Simply put, you put yourself in the shoes of someone else, you are able to relate to the experience of what someone else has gone through.

Often times we confuse sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry or regret.

When it comes to design thinking empathy is often experienced through story telling.

Ready for a story?

Jasmine refuses to set foot into a pool.

Every summer during camp, she sits by the pool side and watch as all the other children play. She hears laughter and screeming; games like marco-polo seem like lots of fun yet she hasn’t had the opportunity to experience the game first hand. 

You see, Jasmine went to a water park at the age 7 and experienced a huge embarrassment when coming out of the water. 

Her skin was red, peeling, and itchy.

When she came out the pool that day every one had the look of dusgust on their faces. Jasmine was warned to be careful near chemically rteated water, but she just wanted to have fun. 

Since that day at the water park, Jasmine chooses to wear long jeans, regardless of the heat and She is highly self concious about her skin condition. 

Feel bad for Jasmine? Yeah, me too.

To solve her problem I’d immediately think of go to the doctor for a skin cream, or find out the diagnosis of why her skin is peeling.

What if there is no cure? Should she just never step foot in the pool again?

This is what its like to pul from empathy.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the next phase.


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