Have a little empathy | Boagworld - Web & Digital Advice

Web & Digital Advice

Digital and web advice from Headscape and the addled brain of Paul Boag... tell me more

Paul Boag Posted by: Paul Boag On Tuesday, 30th August, 2011

Have a little empathy

As web designers we like to focus on the practical skills such as: HTML, CSS, JavaScript. However, we must also give attention to soft skills such as empathy.

Digital Strategy Working in web:
The estimated time to read this article is 2 minutes

Never one to focus on the obvious, my first post for Webdesign Tuts+ doesn’t focus on the traditional aspects of web design. Instead I look at the subject of empathy.

A flame war on twitter

Why empathy?

Empathy is one of the most important skills we need as web designers. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of others”. I think this is crucial in our line of work.

I’m not just talking about empathy with users, although I admit understanding and sharing the feelings of users is crucial to the success of most websites. I’m talking about the ability to empathise with our clients, colleagues and the broader web design community.

I look at how empathy can make us more productive, get more work approved and encourage innovation within the web design community.

Are we all on the autistic spectrum?

I also look at how to nurture empathy when it does not come naturally. I believe our sector attracts a disproportionate number of people who would be defined as somewhere on the autistic spectrum. As a result, we are not a naturally empathetic bunch!

If you’re somebody who finds work colleagues frustrating, clients difficult and find yourself in the middle of flame wars then this is the post for you.

my first post for Webdesign Tuts+

Become a web expert with our newsletter

Receive invaluable advice every three weeks and get two free video presentations for subscribing. You can unsubscribe in one click.

Blog Updates

You can follow all my posts by subscribing to my RSS feed or signing up to my email newsletter above.

Podcast Updates

Subscribe to the podcast via itunes or RSS. You can also subscribe to my quick tips via itunes and RSS too.

Social Updates

I am completely addicted to Twitter so try following me there. I also have a Facebook page which contains considerably less waffle.

Comments

Boagworld is a community, not just the voice of one blogger. You've read the post, now its time to get involved.