The Empathic Design Institute.
A little thing we do that informs everything we do.
Empathic design responds in your hands like an Italian roadster in the twisties. It’s the airport concourse you navigate happily without pausing to decode the signage. The hotel concierge who deduces exactly what dinner and show you’ll love. The suit that makes you look like red-carpet material, not draped in a boxy pup tent.
Why isn’t all digital design Empathic? Many reasons. But The Empathic Design Institute is out to turn the tide. We stand for digital products and services that respect people, are pleasing to use, and pay off for their providers.
Empathize with users? To create business value? A little radical. But an idea that’s more than a little needed.
Empathic Design: It Was Never Not a Good Idea.
But Today We Need a Comeback Campaign.
The Internet wasn’t born mean. It just turned out that way. The Empathic Design Institute is our way of turning it back.
What do we mean, mean? We mean interfaces that defy logic or mystify people. Signup or buying processes that flunk the most primitive usability tests. Concealed agendas. Head-spinning complexity. Even terms of service agreements engineered to be impenetrable – and ignored.
We’re looking at design that doesn’t work, or makes you mad, or double-crosses you.
Empathic design is a pushback. A movement. Our creative, passionate response to everything that’s gone awry with digital design. Maybe it’s taboo in some quarters to suggest there’s anything wrong. We can live with that.
The Empathic Design Institute advances a revolutionary aesthetic. In a culture too often devoted to owning your eyeballs or trapping you, snookering you into subscribing to or buying things, or just indifferent to you, the Empathic aesthetic strikes back.
Empathize with what people want, it says. Deliver it in welcome, accessible ways, and you’re going to come out ahead. Comfortable, confident customers keep coming back.
Empathic design doesn’t just make providers feel virtuous. It generates serious, measurable business value. It’s baked into every digital initiative we undertake, and we want the whole wide creative world to join the revolution.
Where today’s digital media intimidates or confounds users, we set out to give comfort. Where standard practice amps up privacy or security fears, we aim to reassure. Where bad design feels adversarial – like pounding on a recalcitrant vending machine – we play the role of the user’s ally. Where people feel disenfranchised, we seek to empower them.
Leverage Empathic design principles to drive better relationships with clients, employees, or customers. Use them to make people happy. And remember – empathy in digital work is not only the proper thing, but the profitable thing.
What are those design principles? Glad you asked.
- Dig into the Five Precepts of Empathic Design.
- Jump in the Wayback Machine and see how we got here.
- Browse the designers and products in the Empathic Design Institute Hall of Fame, and maybe nominate your own.