Sympathy for Empathy
It doesn't really matter whether you're employing sympathy or true empathy in your search for innovative solutions; it's the commitment to real context that is fundamental to the design thinking process.
The commitment to approach any problem with context is fundamental to the design thinking process. And more than context, it’s important to have the proper context — the kind of context that can only come from walking a mile in the shoes of the one with the problem we’re trying to solve.
"When we set out to develop empathy or sympathy for a problem we are trying to solve (or, really, for the people it impacts), we should never do so just to check a box in the process — that’s pointless."