Quit Designing like a Sociopath

General, Marketing, We Speak Human Blog

Sociopath: Person that displays anti-social behavior

Psychology Today: describes anti-social behavior to be “characterized by a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others”. Basically, sociopaths do not think about how other people feel. This is why it is so important to design with empathy.

What in the holy dickens does it mean to design with empathy? I was at a very informative conference recently (Drupal North) and a young designer (Amanda Mckee) got up and gave a presentation on “Designing with Empathy”. I absolutely loved the phrasing and of course the meaning. Around our agency, (Launchpad Creative) we describe this same concept as “real human experience”. As a marketing agency, it is absolutely mandatory that we can relate, empathize, and connect with many different types of people.

So let’s talk about “DESIGNING WITH EMPATHY”. This is how I interpret it; when a message sender begins designing with the needs, interests, and personalities of the receivers in mind. You can apply this concept to the design of a website, video, new program, PR strategy, etc… AGAIN, DO NOT DESIGN LIKE A SOCIOPATH.

Trust me I understand how easy it is to fall in love with your own work. Mainly it happens because your work speaks directly to you and your personality type and you’re probably dope af at what you do. Also, we all create for different reasons. Some of us do it purely for fun, to satisfy an internal longing, to live a better life, to impress others, to achieve monetary rewards, or a mixture of all or any of these reasons.

If you create purely for yourself then ignore this blog, lol, or be more empathetic to yourself if you’re not already. Here are a few tips to design with (more) empathetically: – Establish who your target market is. – Research personality types. – Create a profile for them. – Reach out to people that are your target market and ask them for feedback. – Take that information you’ve learned and integrate it into your designs. Let’s tie this all together. Think about who your receiver is (are they older, culturally diverse, tech un-savvy, anxious, busy).

Remember a sociopath does things for themselves without regard for the benefit to others… a real human experience or an empathetic design cannot flourish

under these conditions. Now, take these tools and go be more awesomer.

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