Empathtetic research

Rama Gheerawo of Royal College of Art did a wonderful presentation on Inclusive design the other day at the European Business Conference 2008 in Oslo, amongst a lot of things pointing out the weakness of traditional Market research and defining a solution – Empathetic research.

It’s quite simple:

Where as traditional Market Research seeks to go out, ask target groups targeted questions and get clear answers – through focus groups, surveys and interviews. Empathetic research goes out to observe and experience, not looking for answers, but looking for inspiration – through ethnography and observation

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This correlates perfectly to all research and experience showing that traditional Market Research is riddled with problems, where as empathetic research doesn’t count on the target audience to provide answers for them but seeks inspiration to articulate the answers themselves.

Image by Today is a good day on flickr.com.