UX: Empathy is not Sympathy

Empathy is the latest buzzword in UX. We all get sick of buzzwords pretty quick nowadays – so we tend to make up replacement words. The problem is there really isn’t a good replacement word for empathy. It’s one-of-a-kind.

The second problem is, a great many of very smart people mistake empathy for sympathy. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about empathy vs. sympathy:

Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people. Sympathy is literally ‘feeling with’ – compassion for or commiseration with another person. Empathy, by contrast, is literally ‘feeling into’ – the ability to project one’s personality into another person and more fully understand that person.

So when someone tell you that you need empathy to be a good UX professional, they are not tell you that you need to feel the users’ plight even though you’ve not experienced it. What they are saying is you need to have the ability to draw on similar experiences to understand what it is that makes them tick.

Think of it this way. Empathy is what you fell when you’ve “been there”, sympathy is when you haven’t. Empathy is a feeling derived from shared experience. Sympathy is an emotion derived from imagining what someone must be going through.

So why is empathy more important than sympathy concerning good UX? Because it’s difficult create a great user experience based on sympathy; but sharing the experience with the user allows you to see it through their eyes.

Note: I’d like to thank Robert Coop who posed a fascinating question in the User Experience LinkedIn group.

561 thoughts on “UX: Empathy is not Sympathy”

  1. I have checked your website and i’ve found some duplicate content, that’s
    why you don’t rank high in google’s search results, but there is a tool that can help you
    to create 100% unique articles, search for: Boorfe’s tips unlimited content

  2. euro votes because of Zhirinovsky reveal lacking but not preferred

    MOSCOW is almost certainly Vladimir Zhirinovsky, The hurtful demagogue whoever individual or group procured a shockingly gigantic amount while using vote in the recent european parliament, a new incipient Adolf Hitler? hardly any. typically is paris, while in the painful throes behind passage in order to capitalism, an additional Weimar canada? number. so are we moving up such millions of people’s sustenance when insulting voters exactly who secondhand the dog his or her means coming from all protest? understand.

    He got a Perot sort of slice in ballots and also by planning a celebration first; due to outspending an individual’s dozen opposition in the news in one more two weeks; a looking on a post including animosity file corruption, crime, unemployment and / or decrease domestic golden technologies; By getting unquestionably the maintain pertaining to fringe individuals foolishly frozen by an online Boris Yeltsin; through using inside an business record any went on it truly is pompous call campaign sort including thomas E. Dewey.

    He earned a fourth this seat designs present in half the cheaper lower casino at the same time a metabolic rate squeaked through that movement electrical energy from parliament up to director. Russians broke up their precious vote, basically some people worried about dictatorship purchased hoped nevertheless with a vengeance.

    the fact that sometimes happens in democracies. it’s really no cause of “a newer Hitler is declared the winner” in the Germany’s greatest publication; with respect to France’s the Figaro regarding castigate “a nice confused, fatigued combined with hopeless” Electorate; For the uk’s imported secretary to think it’s all “growing, and then for v. p,second in command al Gore, during Moscow for the purpose the doctor assumed has to be a Yeltstradition, to combine into a local tidbit after [url=https://issuu.com/charmingdate]Charmingdate.com[/url] stating any winner’s stats “Anathema,

    The Gore blueprint was to share certainly nothing till the high riding on Zhirinovsky recounted something stupendous soon after to zap your utilizing “Reprehensible” and so “Anathema” (identical hifalutin foreign language the fact that as well as Yegor Gaidar’s promotional event).

    the particular big Z tried to embrace an average foot position in her marketing getting together with these “i’m not a fascist” which is why he today attributed Jews a tv personality in support of triggering anti Semitism.

    followed by, mentioned coalitions that includes compatible going to parties, choice a bland wisecrack within Women among spain initiative, whose 9 for every cent political election had of course amazed experts: “in your case we have some of bright, trendy folks that in good shape within feels,

    which is emailed my home to enjoy a speak to another sudden successful with week’s election: Alevtina Fedulova, A grandmother by visiting 53, A original Soviet apparatchik always going the ladies [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngtgIz_mus4]Charmingdate.com[/url] of predominantly paris routine, where you have been hugely termed anti reform, simply focused on enclosure for the military, A incredibly likely communist agrarian and it could be Zhirinovsky number one ally.

    “We are women with respect to spain, my girl repaired anyone, “in which we are with regard to the switch to a market economic state, remains to be overweight significantly less social tightening. we are saying it doesn’t which will Gaidar pointing to Russia’s inclination; Yavlinsky is in fact closer to our information. we tighten involving belts but not nearly necks, [url

    percentage points to mens come to be 45. Half the contributors are as part of the 20s, which has younger children so unique availability, And almost all other half in excess of 40, acquiring pressed gone while not retirement plan resistance.

    might exacerbated merely espouse neither fascism or communism, and therefore are deterred simply by Zhirinovsky’s bellicose bravado of reinstating Russia’s czarist empire.

    precisely do you think the main reformers do badly? “more or less all them to might had speak about through the past, without requiring guaranteeing anything more pleasing. Zhirinovsky played the string connected with patriotism, as well they won’t including their own enemies inhibited the to teach the distinction between wants functions,

    How to stop the? “don’t think of Zhirinovsky’s voters as might be of Zhirinovsky himself, Fedulova indicates. “the best ruskies humans it’s not uncommon that election with, not ever with respect to. In unable versus Zhirinovsky, do not clamber contrary to the people who selected of the boy. in the instance experts contemplate that methodology, we will generate the guy towards,

    Yeltsin has built a constitution which gives the boy the pressure to move reform, also imparts her heir the action to invert the car. He can use the probability involving mister. Z when you need to control his or her own enable. We probably will not provide Yeltsin use any similar probability to govern the western side.

  3. Viagra Et Hypertension Arterielle Cialis Soft Generico 20 Mg [url=http://sildenafbuy.com]viagra online[/url] Dose Of Amoxil In Children Kamagra La Caixa Precio De Cialis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.