Empathy in Design: Lessons from a cough syrup

Do you remember that feeling of irritation when something is poorly designed? When how to use something you bought takes a lot of time to figure out? When something you use daily, is inconvenient due to its poor design? This poverty in design comes from lack of customer feedback mechanism and customer focus of the designers. When you put empathy for the customer in your design- when you put yourself, as a designer, in the shoes of the end user, the customer, you can make a product that the customers love! Look at the first iPhones for example- no wonder Steve Jobs spent so much time on the look, feel and the design of even the invisible internal parts of the iPhones and the MacBook.

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App Cabs- Algorithm vs People

Ryde, a new app-based cab aggregator has launched their service in Kolkata a couple of days back. This is the third such company to have launched in Kolkata in the last 4 years attempting to take some market share from Uber and Ola in Kolkata, capitalising mainly on customer frustrations, especially about surge pricing. None of the previous ones survived. Will Ryde be the one to make the market monopoly of the Big Two?

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Empathy is Everything in Customer Service

My wife and I dread the tea aisle of our local supermarket chain. The supermarket is always crowded with staff on the floor, and they keep on changing the location of the shelves now and then, making it very difficult to find anything each fortnight. But the tea aisle is just worst. The customer service staff there, or as we have code worded them “the TA girls”, are always there to pounce on you when they see you enter the aisle. We, and other customers, get constantly followed and badgered with a flurry of questions: “Green Tea Ma’am?”, “Darjeeling Tea Ma’am?”, “Try this new tea sir.”, “Chamomile Tea Sir?”, and so on and so forth. We dread the TA girls and therefore my wife has decided to avoid the aisle altogether and rather buy tea online. Much less hassle, we get what we need, without the constant badgering or hard push to sell.

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