Empathic design is focusing on the receivers subconscious desires by finding the implicit reasons people use your product or service. To put this method in practice you have to map emotions and motivations from potential target groups where you use formative research instead of summative research that usually is more common in design projects. Formative research begins at the beginning of a design project to work as a guide to align the design towards the target groups’ minds. The following five points that are a model developed by the design company IDEO includes the basic steps for a successful implementation:
- Understand the market, client, technology and perceived constraints. The foundation of empathic design is to map emotions and motivations, where the German company Nymphenburg Group has developed a workable model, The Limbic Map that divides emotions into three categories: Stimulant – focus on playful emotions like humour, creativity, and curiousness etc. Dominance – focus on logic, discipline, and power etc. Balance – focus on security in the form of loyalty and trust etc.
- To make the model work observe real people in real-life situations
- Then from this research visualize concepts that are new to the world
- Evaluate and refine the prototype by spicing it with empathic design from the outcome of the steps above.
- Implement the new concept for commercialization.