Thinking, Feeling, and Doing Empathy In Everyday Practice

Empathy pays. Caring deeply about your customers isn’t just the right thing to do—empathy is good business.

Empirical research shows there is a direct correlation between employee empathy and business outcomes (e.g., profitability, customer satisfaction). And employees with high empathy are less likely to burnout (i.e., call out sick, quit, disengage).

I’ll say it again. Empathy is good for business.

So what exactly is empathy? It’s a term that often gets thrown around, but what does it actually mean to be empathic? What does it look like?

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Experience Is Experience Is Experience

What is UX? Is UX the same thing as website design? In just a moment, I’ll set up my very bright spotlight to bring different aspects of the broad field of UX out of the shadows.

First, UX is shorthand for user experience.

Second, there are LOTS of kinds of user experiences—not all of them happen on a website. Or even the majority of them! Most people are awake 16-18 hours every day, and most of those experiences don’t include a website (e.g., showering, dressing, walking the dog).

UX designers, researchers, and strategists work across multiple experience disciplines, or may specialize in just one.

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When to Use Which UX Research Deliverable

UX research encompasses all types of research activities: user research, competitive research, stakeholder or subject matter expert interviews, audits, analytics, and other information sources—with the goal of helping organizations understand how to better serve their users.

Think beyond the tradtional research report! Below is a list of UX research deliverables you can use to help you communicate strategy or research insights with greater impact and engagement.

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Takeaways from My 2020 QRCA Conference Talk: UX Research Is Not a Synonym for Usability Testing

In January 2020, I spoke at the 2020 QRCA Conference in Austin, Texas. The name of my talk was “UX Research Is Not a Synonym for Usability Testing.”

The inspiration for my talk actually came to me immediately while attending the 2019 conference… Sometimes when I introduced myself as a UX researcher to another qualitative researcher, I heard, “I do usability testing, too!” Hhm?

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The Giant List of Edge Cases

Designing for the “average” user? Turns out, there’s no such thing. The average user doesn’t exist.

When building your online surveys, user personas, empathy maps, customer journey maps, user requirement documentation, prototypes, and products—consider edge cases and biases.

Nail polish isn’t just for girls and women; some men wear nail polish. Not all bald people are men; some women shave their heads or lose their hair.

Call out stereotypes and biases whenever you find them. Be empowered to speak up and advocate for all users.

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28 UX Research Deliverables

If you haven’t guessed by now, I love making lists.

And as a maximizer, I’m always looking for new ways to grow as a researcher and strategist—whether it’s new research methods or techniques, reasons to invest in UX, or ways to communicate my research findings.

Are you looking for ways to deliver research insights more effectively to stakeholders or the design team? Do you find report writing to be too slow or too redundant? Or do you need a deliverable that the entire design team can collaborate on together?

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