Jason Ogle proves that empathic design is not only possible, but essential in creating life-changing products and services. He enlightens us to our seldom talked about mirror neurons and the critical role they play in user testing. He shines a spotlight on incredibly powerful and moving examples of empathy in design. He also teaches us how empathy can not only be taught and learned, but practiced, because being great designer begins and ends with being a great human.
Intro Story (00:24)
What is Empathy? (5:04)
Mirror Neurons (9:14)
Still Face Experiment (11:17)
Mirror Neurons and Movies (15:59)
Inspiring Examples from IDEO (19:19)
Doug Dietz’s Empathy for Terminally Ill Children (23:35)
Margaret Hamilton’s Empathy for Apollo 11 (29:44)
Can We Grow in Empathy? (34:07)
Seth Godin Explaining Empathy (35:21)
Put Your Oxygen Mask on First (36:10)
Seth Godin on Faked Empathy (39:19)
Seth Godin on Being Indispensable in an AI World (40:57)
Empathy & Mindfulness (43:23)
Rise to the Empathy Challenge (45:55)
Jason Ogle: Picture yourself on a flight 30,000 feet above sea level. It’s a night flight, so the cabin lights are dimmed. Movie’s playing and you have a 1 ½ year old at your feet throwing the worst tantrum you’ve ever experienced. All of a sudden, your cortisol levels are already through the roof. All of the lights and the power in the aircraft immediately shut off. Imagine the sheer terror you feel in that moment of just thinking, “Oh my God, is this the end?” And then all of a sudden, to hear on the loudspeakers, the flight attendant, several moments later after the lights have actually returned, say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for that inconvenience. We lost ground power for a moment there. But never fear, everything’s okay now. Everything’s okay now.”
So imagine that, and this is a true story. This happened to my wife and I about 15 years ago. And the point of this story is to tell you that the lights immediately shutting off is not a design, is not by design. In fact, when you get in an airplane and you get to cruising altitude, if it’s a night flight, the system is designed, somebody, an empathic designer, had the sense to go, “Wow, if I were on an aircraft and the lights just immediately shut off, I’d be terrorized.” So, an empathic designer said, “This is not the right convention. Let’s make this better. Let’s design this with empathy for the passengers so that the lights will dim slowly, very slowly when you are getting to cruising altitude.”
Empathy as a Design Superpower with Jason Ogle. He’s a passionate user defender who fights for the users who are victims of bad design decisions. He’s an influential podcaster who uses the enchanting magic of audio to inspire and equip an audience of hungry and ambitious designers.
Jason Ogle is human, not dancer. He fails early and learns often. He’s a growth-minded, avid reader and listener whose vehicle is a rolling university, and a biz-minded, strategic designer who loves to make life better for his users. He’s an evocative (often contrarian) writer who believeth in the power of the written word. He’s a self-aware and highly empathic servant-leader who believes that humans are so much more than resources. He’s also a loving husband, father of seven (one’s in heaven), and thankful believer who has a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Fun fact: He once had to get a manicure to be a hand-model for a tech ad, and he has a rare essay titled “Altars of Satan” given to him and signed by Eldridge Cleaver.