Design with Empathy

This past week, we received a question through Instagram that got us really thinking, “What keeps you motivated?” At first, our daily vices of tea, ocean swims and pug cuddles sprang to mind.

After a moment, other words such as connection, intention and purpose took centre stage. Staying motivated for us is so much more than having a coffee, completing a task and pressing send and then starting that cycle all over again.

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We are interested in the ‘Why’ of our clients stories and visions. We find out why they love what they do and this provides a deeper connection to our work at The Binding. Thinking outside our own perspective and using empathy throughout our design process allows us to focus on how our clients businesses will be seen and experienced. 

But what exactly is Empathy? And how does it relate to design?

Empathy is the ability to see the world from a perspective that differs from our own and the understanding that people see, feel and experience the world in very different ways. In relation to design empathy, and as outlined in IDEO’s Human-Centered Design Toolkit is a, ‘deep understanding of the problems and realities of the people you are designing for’.

For The Binding, we use empathy to find out our clients vision and purpose and then strategise as to how we can positively build upon this purpose. We start asking questions such as, ‘How will people interact with their business? Are we contributing to their overall business goals? How will our designs continue to benefit our client's into the future?'. This allows us to not look at each item as a single design task but rather how are we contributing to the bigger picture of our client's business.

At the end of the day, we find that designing with empathy is what keeps us motivated. It binds our work with a deeper meaning and ensures our designs stay relevant to both our clients and their audiences.

This mindset keeps us driven, centred, accountable and ensures that every day we are are driven by creativity and bound by purpose.