Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Join the International Conference on: How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Dave McColgin


Dave McColgin & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Product Design

Dave McColgin works at Artefact Group, which is a technology product design company. He wrote an article and white paper on, "Why you should invest in empathy."

A major step in the product design process is to empathize with the users needs in relation to designing any product. In this interview Dave walked me, step by step, through his article.

The 'Empathy: Design tool and outcome'  whitepaper. "describes additional background on the concept of empathy and answers design-related questions like:

  • How can decision makers get a better intuitive sense of their customers to complement the faceless data?

  • What are some creative ways that working teams can get a deeper sense of walking in their customers' shoes?

  • How can you recognize when there is an opportunity to increase empathy among customers?

  • How does technology act against empathy today and what can we do about it?"

Sub Conference: Human Centered Design



Dave McColgin & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Product Design




  • 00:00 Introduction

  • (transcription pending)

  • (Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)



Aug 14, 201 - Why you should invest in empathy by Dave McColgin
Artefac's pursuit of 21st Century Design aspires toward preferable outcomes to benefit society, the economy, and the environment. We believe that lives are larger than interactions with a product, that users are more than targets and sources of growth. Instead they are partners in achieving societal goals. As designers, we can carefully choose what outcomes will lead to progress. In order to do that successfully, we need to approach our work with empathy empathy towards the user, the context of the situation, and society. In this post and accompanying paper, we will explore the concept of empathy: why it matters in design and how we work to achieve this outcome in our work.



White Paper: Empathy: Design tool and outcome: The Case For Empathy.

What Is Empathy? Empathy is a modern word, but not a modern influence. It  was coined in 1909, based on ideas from around the turn of the century. Definitions vary, but generally share two components:

1) intellectual identification with the situation of another person, and

2) experiencing a shared emotional state. It is often described as walking in someone else's shoes.