Design thinking begins with empathy, but empathy is not about solving problems. It's about listening, and learning about other people's reasoning. (Yes, this means all of us who offer solutions to friends who are grappling with a situation--we are not doing empathy.) This is why understanding the problem should be completely separated from the solution design/development cycle. And in this separate effort, you develop empathy to understand people's inner reasoning as they seek to accomplish a larger purpose or intent.

Empathy has many types. It also has two stages (developing & applying). Indi will teach you two types of empathy to use in understanding the problem space. And she will show you how a separate problem space research cycle can fit within your own work and within the fast pace of your own organization. You will get talking points to use if you want to incorporate a bit more understanding of the problem space in your organization, and you will get to practice the listening sessions that are at the root of creating this deeper understanding.

The whole point of understanding the problem space is to open up opportunities, to open your organization's eyes to new paths and new audiences. When you create a deeper understanding, you can make ethical, compassionate designs that support a diversity of thinking. You will be able to harness emergent technology, enabling your algorithms to listen and adjust to people. If you are at a startup, it gives you a strong focus to plan your product path. Or if you're at a large enterprise, this understanding gives you a way to bridge between divisions and work with your peers more successfully.

What topics will be covered?

- redefining problem space separate from ideas and solutions
- concrete definitions cognitive and emotional empathy in your work
- conducting listening sessions (as different from interviews)
- defining the purpose of a study
- mental model diagrams
- thinking-style segments (behavioral audience segments v. personas)
- using opportunity maps to kick off product discovery, dual-track agile

What exercises will be done?

We will conduct two listening session exercises, so you can measure the shift in your confidence level. We will work on study purpose statements, so you get a jump-start on your own work when you return from this conference.

What will the audience take away from this workshop?

This half-day workshop will give you the skills to recognize when assumptions are guiding your product and design decisions. You will learn the difference between "fuzzy bunny" empathy and types of empathy that can be applied in your work. You'll be introduced to listening session techniques, when to turn your attention to the problem space, and concrete artifacts you can use to guide your product and design decisions.

Any requirements for attending?

None for this audience.