What is Empathy

What is Empathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's shoes. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and somatic empathy.

And empathy is a core foundation of what design thinking is about, the connection of creator to user. The problems that you are tackling are almost never yours alone. Part of the core reason we innovate is to create value for others and as you build empathy for your users you learn their values and how to increase them.

Keys to Empathize

There are 3 simple keys to being able to empathize with your users:


Watch users in their own environment, note their behavior in the context of the lives at large.


Interact with users by interviewing them through both scheduled and spontaneous encounters.


Step into your user's shoes and walk a mile in them. Understand how they experience their environment, pains, and gains.

Empathy's Role

Empathy's role in an innovation process is to keep you grounded and connected to your customer. With empathy at the core of your design process you will not only be able to deliver more value in each design, but also ensure that your final product has a strong market fit and demand.

You will find that the best solutions come from insights into user behavior. And the empathy mapping tool will help you to walk a mile in your user's shoes.