Empathy Jam - Finding User Emotions in Human-Centered Design

Price: $10.00 /per person
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We have been thinking a lot about how to help our design teams gain a deeper understanding of the customers and users they serve. Maybe it's because the designers we work with possess differences in skills, motivation and capacity for empathic work - sometimes significant differences! Maybe it's because building an empathic mindset on teams is challenging due to time constraints inherent in design sprints and the ad-hoc nature of team selection. We recently found a lot of hope in the use of Emotional Snapshots - a tool that helps build empathic skills to compensate for these real-world limitations. Join us for an evening with Dr. Sylvia Long-Tolbert, Clinical Professor of Marketing at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, to learn about Emotional Snapshots and to build your creative confidence in empathic work.

In this workshop, we will explore how to discover users' needs upfront as an efficient way to increase empathy as well as inspire solutions that address functional, emotional and social needs. We will practice activating a user-centered mindset, overcoming empathy deficits and leveraging user emotions to do a deep dive into loneliness - to understand what loneliness feels and looks like in a digitally-connected and “always on” culture. We will work in teams to complete empathy drills that are designed to raise awareness of your users’ emotional needs, identify the dominant emotions influencing users’ sentiments and experiences, and produce a visual board and prototype resembling users’ emotional experiences. We will learn how to document emotional language words and sentiments associated with loneliness from social media posts, define perceived emotional barriers that add context and provide deeper meaning of loneliness and its felt experience, and produce Emotional Snapshots that offer a visual interpretation of loneliness that clarifies and externalizes emotional states. Lastly, every team will build a prototype to objectify the emotional mindset for whom they are designing a solution. In the end, the empathy drills will transform abstract and subjective emotional concepts into tangible data and design inspiration.

This session will be hands-on and fun, while also calling attention to a pervasive social and public health challenge. You'll also learn to:

• Prepare for empathic work
• See the value of transforming abstract emotional concepts into tangible objects in human-centered research
• Listen purposefully for the emotional language that can be found in any consumption context
• Build confidence in the use and value of secondary resources, personal user knowledge and intuition during human-centered research
• Produce emotional collateral for use during ideation and iteration stages of the design thinking process


6:30 - 6:45pm Networking

6:45 – 6:55 Intros and Challenge Setup

6:55 - 7:15pm Secondary Research on Loneliness

7:15 - 8:25pm Four Empathy Drills

8:25 - 8:45pm Share-out and Discussion

Sign up quickly as we only have space for 40 people.

About our Presenter

Sylvia Long-Tolbert, PhD is a marketing expert and consumer researcher who co-exists at the intersection of marketing science, thought and practice. She uses human-centered design to help solve vexing marketing problems and identifies pragmatic solutions that leverage resources to achieve measurable marketing, operational and customer outcomes. She is Clinical Professor of Marketing at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and previously taught at both Drexel University and University of Toledo.