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Using Online Reviews as Narratives to Evoke Designer’s Empathy

Abstract : Gathering health-related data is quite easy, but visualizing them in a meaningful way remains challenging, especially when the application domain is very complex. Research suggests that empathy can facilitate the design process and that narratives can help to create an empathic encounter between designers and the prospective users. We conducted an exploratory quasi-experiment in order to explore whether narratives in form of online reviews are able to evoke designer’s empathy when developing an online platform for a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service. The results suggest that the narratives can help designers to engage with and take the perspective of the prospective user, who is then represented in more detail. Lacking narratives from real people leaves the designers to their own imagination, which can lead to the use of rather abstract stereotypes that do not enable an understanding of the user, but affect the subsequent design decisions.
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Christiane Grünloh, Åke Walldius, Gerhard Hartmann, Jan Gulliksen. Using Online Reviews as Narratives to Evoke Designer’s Empathy. 15th Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2015, Bamberg, Germany. pp.298-315, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-22701-6_22⟩. ⟨hal-01599656⟩

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