In engineering a product, there are two approaches/mindsets.  One engineer may solve the problem and have the user adapt to the solution or another engineer may solve the problem with a solution that fits with the user’s behavior.  The latter engineer is using empathy engineering.
A good example is the iPhone.  Apple tackled the problem of a very poor user interface that the prior phones all had.  Those engineers understood it well because they used those same phones.  The other manufacturers only responded after the iPhone came to market and their market share began to evaporate.  Apple’s reputation has really been built on empathy engineering.  It is true, in some cases the customers could not articulate what they wanted, but the revolutionary products came from understanding behavior and emotion.

--Dave
 


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