Designing with Empathy

Q: How can design be empathetic to a user who “doesn’t want to be there,” or who is grudgingly engaging with the site/product?

This question comes up fairly often and in different forms, and it seems to be rooted in the idea that empathetic design and creatively engaging design are mutually exclusive. And I wince a little whenever I hear it asked because, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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The Art of the Style Guide

Q: Over the course of a multi-phase project, how do you marry design and functionality with existing work, in order to preserve continuity in the end product?

I think the crux of this question refers to a skill that a lot of designers are still trying to hone, as we adapt to agile /sprint-based /phased design processes for web. That is, the art of the style guide.

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