Keys to empathize with the client

A real case of use of the research tools

Nowadays, companies face a reality when they are creating a new product or service: it is no longer about designing FOR the user, it is about designing WITH the user. Thus, the solution created or designed has greater acceptance and valuation, in addition to higher compensation to the business, because it has the power to solve real problems or unmet needs of our “person”.

This is one of the keys of Design Thinking because, in every creation of an idea or solution, the person is placed as the main axis of the entire innovation process, and everything else remain with less priority. That is why it is so important to learn how to empathize with our client, which means going beyond the obvious. This happens like an iceberg, if we don’t focus enough, we are left with superficial discoveries, but if we inquire in it, we find insights and a deeper understanding.

Buyer Persona as principal axis in Design Thinking - Blog Thinkers Co.

So what are the tools that are necessary to empathize with the user?

There are many options and in the Designpedia book you can find many of them. However, this time we will show you the tools with an example of a real case of study.

At Thinkers Co., we made a report to understand the different office models that have been created in this digitalized society. For example, “spaces in transit” such as coffee shops, coworking places, train stations or airports, where people only ask for a good Internet connection and a comfortable space to work.

And what do you think we did first? To begin this study we carry out a market research to deepen the topic, but above all, to meet the professionals that use the new trends in working spaces: the “spaces in transit”.

After that, we use the Safari technique to achieve the firsts approaches and thus be able to have a further knowledge about the “spaces in transit” and the aspects that surround them. Then, we make a Field visit with the Poems tool to meet the users who are in these spaces and how they act on them. Finally, we did users Interviews to discover insights and better understanding of their needs.

All these learnings were collected in different tools, which allowed us to empathize more with the users and deepen on each one. We identify 5 different archetypes:

1. Raul, the businessman, is the Marketing Director of a company. He works in the same table as the rest of his team, but when he needs a space to have a meeting, he looks for a room or a cafeteria.

2. Laura, the hybrid, works as a Corporate / Consultant in an international company, so she travels a lot. She has different virtual work teams, so she manages projects through the network. That is why she always needs to be connected in spaces with good Internet.

3. Cristina, the full corporate, is an Account Manager 4 years ago in a company. She works in an open space at the office, from where she supervises her team, has meetings with more people and has all the tools she needs.

4. Mario, the homemade freelance, is an independent graphic designer. His workspace is the studio that he built in his house and, when he has meetings, he makes them by video call or in his own space.

5. Javier, the coworking, is autonomous and makes 3D visualizations for an architects company. He works from a coworking, where he has his permanent workspace and from where he can interact with more freelancers.

Roadmap to know your user - Blog Thinkers Co.

For each user, we use the Persona tool to have a complete picture of who they are, what they do and what are their needs, motivations and life goals.

Likewise, we created an Empathy Map for each user to understand their point of view and emotional and rational aspects of the “spaces in transit”. We also worked with the Point of view tool, which allowed us to synthesize the problem or need of the user and its reason and then facilitate the design of solutions.

Updated at 11/12/2020

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