The Power of Empathy in a Big Data World (Presented to Chicago Interactive Design & Development Meetup Group)

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Information about The Power of Empathy in a Big Data World (Presented to Chicago...

Published on February 14, 2014

Author: est3ban



Information is not the same as insight, so while organizations have an increasing amount of data about their audiences, they don’t always know how to make sense of it — what belongs, what’s actionable, and what will really help them meet their evolving challenges.

Personas have been a well-known tool for describing audiences for some time, but they’ve usually been based on common denominators, indices and averages. As UX professionals, we understand that crafting compelling experiences begins with a deeper understanding of audiences than numbers alone will offer.

This talk introduces another approach to creating personas. This approach brings research and data into an empathetic framework to produce a more human and intuitive connection and a deeper sense of consumers' wants and needs. At the same time, it can transform the design process by using empathy to promote collaboration, break down functional walls, and builds consensus.

" The Power of Empathy in a Big Data World Gaining Insights Though Empathy-Based Personas Chicago Interactive Design & Development Meetup February 13, 2014 [bt] | Brand Therapy

Esteban González Founder and Lead Strategist of Brand Therapy. We are an insights, strategy and ideas boutique devoted to creating healthy, sustainable brand relationships. [bt] 2

Section Separator Customers are king, right? [bt] 3

Every organization knows it has to be “customer-centric” these days, right? sdfs [bt] 4

Started with what we know about members They invest tons of time and resources gathering tons of information about them… [bt] 5

Why does it often seem, though, that this is really how they see them? I ♥ ur brand [bt] 6

Personas have been a tool Personas have been a valuable tool for developing a richer, more human picture of the customer… [bt] 7

But we live in a time of big data, now don’t we… [bt] 8

Personas have been a tool “Here’s a simple rule for the second machine age we’re in now: as the amount of data goes up, the importance of human judgment should go down… The practical conclusion is that we should turn many of our decisions, predictions, diagnoses, and judgments— both the trivial and the consequential—over to the algorithms.” [bt] 9

This is a little disconcerting, because a lot of what we do is about human judgment, particularly of relationships… [bt] 10

Especially this one… Advocacy Loyalty Purchasing Behaviors Social Media Status Attitudes People Identity Partnerships Values & Traits Brands Affiliations Interests Core Beliefs Communications Society Culture Media Context Positioning Relationships Family & Friends Channels Competition Marketplace [bt] 11

A very smart guy once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” dfs [bt] 12

Or, as we say… Information ≠ Insight [bt] 13

Our view… We think personas are about more than putting a human face on increasingly more data… asdadsa [bt] 14

asd [bt] 15

The brand strategy How can they do all this? [bt] 16

They bring something very powerful into the equation… [bt] 17

Empathy adds context. It’s a tool that allows us to separate what’s meaningful from what’s a nice fact, but not really an insight… [bt] 18

[bt] 19

1.  More like a team Empathy lets us see ourselves and how we work in a different light… 2.  More human 3.  More in concert and complementary 4.  Less like silos 5.  Less about describing, more about creating [bt] 20

The brand strategy Our approach to Personas… [bt] 21

The point isn’t to ignore the facts, but to entertain a different way of seeing them — and ultimately, of using them… adad [bt] 22

So, even if we start with demographic or behavioral data like this… sdfs [bt] 23

Or with complex crunching of social data like this… sdfs [bt] 24

sdf [bt] 25

[bt] 26

The key is how we process all the bits of information we have… sdfs [bt] 27

  Historically, most CARA members are women   Almost half of members are between 30 and 45 years of age Draw on our own empathy   Members most often cite they like the camaraderie and friendships, taking care of the lakefront, and personal motivation   Frequent needs identified in surveys and our focus groups: better programs for a broader range of runners, from beginners to elites   Most people identify “runner advocacy” as a key CARA activity, few, though, know what this is   Marathon training accounts for only a quarter of members at any given time, but over half of members will participate in a program   They are successful people: over 2/3 have incomes over $75k; 2/5 earn over $100k   Just over half (54%) live in Chicago, and just under half (44%) live in the suburbs; members want more programs outside the city/north side   Newer members made up the largest group of respondents to the 2011 membership survey [bt]   Member running styles range; most report they  28 run between 11 and 20 miles a week

Patterns that can shift how we think about audiences… Things we can measure Demographics Web transactions Retail purchases Social behavior Things that speak to empathy Emotional drivers behind preferences, connections, tastes, attitudes and values [bt] 29

adad [bt] 30

adad [bt] 31

[bt] 32

[bt] 33

We make a Model… We break down the traditional ways of describing customers and make it more like knowing an individual… 1.  Their ideas about status 2.  The things they trust 3.  Their comfort zones 4.  Their affinities for things 5.  How they act in groups [bt] 34

I find groups like CARA attractive for their… Fun, friendships, and camaraderie Expertise, resources, and benefits My interests and passions are… About mastering new things About sanity and balance When I think of volunteering, it’s more about… A responsibility to give back A personal choice to give back I set personal and professional goals for myself… To stay motivated, inspired To keep me ahead of others My first reaction to challenges that cross my path is to… Look for new options ahead Second-guess my previous decisions Working in groups, professionally or with friends, I tend to… Get along to go along Be the squeaky wheel When I walk to work or one of my favorite places, I… Stick to the way I know [bt] Try a new way each time 35

sdf [bt] 36

fsds [bt] 37

The point is to provoke… 1.  Build confidence in the data 2.  Trigger a personal connection 3.  Prompt emotional details beyond a simple story 4.  Surface subtle differences in experiences and attitudes 5.  Stimulate discussion adfa [bt] 38

Collaborate, collaborate, and then collaborate some more… [bt] 39

A diverse, crossfunctional group of participants helps us not be beholden to titles or silos… sdf [bt] 40

Empathy is a personal experience… It becomes transformational when it happens in a group working together. [bt] 41

We brainstorm about things like… Motivations — the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something Aspirations — a hope or ambition of achieving something; the object of such an ambition; a goal Fears — a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone Frustrations — the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve; the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something [bt] 42

The Results [bt] 43

We give each persona a face and a name… [bt] 44

sdf [bt] 45

sdf [bt] 46

Section Separator In the end, though, it’s about more than a process or a deliverable… [bt] 47

It’s about a focus group of “real” (imaginary) individuals… Brenda   Intense runner, 45   A “true believer”   Accomplished and respected professional   High expectations of the organization Heidi   Competitive runner, 28, a transplant from NYC Larry Beverly   A returning runner, 50   Casual fitness runner, 34   Very focused on herself   Runs for fitness, to maintain his health   Runs for fun, stay fit, to connect with friends   Consumer minded, benefits are there for her   Management, hard worker and provider   Busy realtor, busy mom   A new prospect   Easy, convenient “me” time   Looking for a friendly and smart running “mentor” [bt] 48

That can lead us to understand the customer journey in new ways… “I’ve been a runner forever and all my friends know me as a runner. I’m out there on the lake year ‘round. Just like a crazy person…” “I learned about CARA a long time ago. It had quite a reputation and was a big part of running history in Chicago…” “I needed the excitement of being part of a kind of movement, and I was a true believer. I needed that sense of mission…” “I became more involved when I needed more challenge: my PRs, races, training for the marathon — and I loved how they were a watchdog for the lakefront…” PROLOGUE INTRODUCTION EARLY ENGAGEMENT ENROLLMENT I can run on my own. I need CARA to have matured like I have: there are serious issues impacting Chicagoans’ running life. CARA should tackle those…” ATTRITION “I need to see CARA is about running as a life choice, and I need it to be a buttoned-up leader affecting greater change. I get excited by the Roads Scholars, runner diversity, etc. …” WINBACK “I need to see there’s something for every person and a path for growth. From just enjoying running more to making running better for everyone…” CONTINUITY [bt] 49

The Chicago Yacht Club CYC Homepage… [bt] 50

Help us validate and refine the ways we speak to them… [bt] 51

All of this is possible when Empathy is baked into the process… Absorb data and look for patterns Make research user-friendly Start with stories that ring true Dive into what’s available. Get your hands dirty with guerrilla ethnography. Take what you know and turn it sideways. Find dimensions that make human sense. Derail data-think. Empathy comes from people seeing things in familiar terms. Collaborate, provoke and conspire With human truths, everyone can contribute. Be ready for the baggage to surface. [bt] 52

“Empathy will be like literacy was in the 1300s. Without it, one will be marginalized and unable to function professionally." Bill Drayton, social entrepreneur, founder of Ashoka [bt] 53

ytfyf [bt] 54

sdfsf [bt] 55

[bt] 56

“The single tool that does the best job at spreading empathy throughout a business is the Persona." Peter Merholz, Harvard Business Review [bt] 57

With Empathy, the relationship feels a little more two-way… dcsfd [bt] 58

Thinking creatively becomes like having a conversation… [bt] 59

dsf [bt] 60

Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity It changes the game. [bt] 61

[bt] | Brand Therapy Esteban González 914.414.7104 Chicago, IL Thank You [bt] 62

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