Title: Why These German Researchers Became Self-Driving Cars
Context: Design empathy isn’t just for users anymore.
Synopsis: As designers, we constantly fret over the conditions within which our end users must operate. We often go to great lengths to put ourselves in their shoes, and literally feel their pain points. This is known as “design empathy” and is a basic skill that anyone involved in product development must possess. The insights we derive from our immersion in the user’s condition allow us to make informed decisions about the experience we are working to develop. In general, we tend to take for granted that technology is simply the palette we use to paint the picture for our end users; infinitely flexible, totally within our control as designers. However, as the intelligence we design for multiplies from exclusively the end user’s point of view to encompass increasingly artificial “smart” technologies our design empathy will need to also expand its scope. It will no longer be an experience of one that we are designing for, but rather a symbiotic relationship of perception that flows in several directions, no longer funneled solely towards the human participant.
Best Bit: “Rolling a mile in a soulless robot’s tires may seem pointless, but the Moovel researchers see value in understanding, communication, and even empathy between people and driverless cars.”

via wired.com