1) How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?

From my viewpoint, there are two ways that can help me to build empathy with users.

  • First of all,  it is easier for me to see all the issues across users. Designers sometimes may have difficulties in detecting problems without the involvement of users, and this is why collecting data is quite necessary and important. However, These useful data can be acquired from users themselves by using interview or questionnaire, which makes it possible for me to feel and understand the problems they are faced with.
  • In addition, I’m able to recognize such problems accurately rather than being mislead by my own idea. It is quite common that people tend to judge things in terms of their own thinking and knowledge because it’s a great time to save time. But this can prevent designers from building empathy with their customers. By using this technique, information from users can be collected and analyzed , which can help me to understand users objectively and avoid making less-informed decisions.

2) How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?

This approach promotes me to understand user needs in two different ways.

  • Firstly, by clustering the data from users, such messy information can be organized and classified so that I can have a better understanding of the similarities and differences about the data.
  • Also, this method makes it possible to turn data into a set of user needs, which can be recognized and understand by designers. These voices of customers are able to be collected and revealed when trying to summarize the main idea of each group. Apart from this, those complicated details from the original data can be turned into several broad themes, which can help me to get core ideas and insights, and avoid being confused by these details.

3) What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

The biggest challenge for me is to classify the data I get and summarize them. While I was practicing this technique yesterday, I notice that I have to spend a lot of time to find the similarities and differences of the data. Also, I’m not good at summarizing the information in each group because it is sometimes hard for me to find the appropriate vocabulary and phases.

Another challenge is that I do have difficulty in finding problems and user needs from materials like interview transcript. Normally, I need to read one answer several times to find and highlight the key information.

     How would you do it better next time?

I think it is necessary make an effort to improve my ability to categorize and summarize information. Using Mind Map in everyday life is a great way because the key concept of Mind Map is to build connections and turn details into main ideas, which means that I can practice this ability frequently.

In addition, I need to try to improve my English reading ability by reading journals and articles everyday. After reading an article, I should also make a Mind Map or Sketch-note to record the main ideas and connections of this article, so that I can have a better understanding of the material I read.