🔵 Empathize phase & 🔴 Prototype phase

When you’re creating a prototype, consider the people who will be interacting with this object/experience. Develop the prototype or design the experience, specifically to gain empathy. You don’t necessarily need to seek solutions when testing prototypes with users. 

In the same way a solution-driven prototype reveals new information about the idea you’re testing, an empathy-seeking prototype helps you gain understanding about people and the space you’re designing for. 

How to prototype for empathy

Prototype for empathy to dig deeper into user needs or probe an insight you’re developing. You can create empathy prototypes to test with users or with your design team. Consider these examples. 


Ask users to draw something and talk about it afterward. “Draw how you get to work.”


Create a game to probe issues you want to explore. Use a simple card game to force users to make choices related to your design challenge. 


Simulate an aspect of the user experience to better understand it yourself. If users garden while carrying a baby, put on a sling and carry ten pounds while gardening. 


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