TOOLS FOR BUILDING EMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING
There are many great methods for building empathy with stakeholders and those close to a problem. In the Incubator, we embrace many methods; one we prioritize is empathy interviews, which center the experience of students, educators, and families. The core idea behind interviews and other forms of empathy-building research is that in order to design new approaches to challenges in schools, we have to center the experience of students, families, and educators—and build or remake relationships with them.
Read more about the power of empathy interviews as a starting point for a design process in this blog post: Promising Practice: Designing For Equity – Three Steps To Conducting Empathy Interviews.
Empathy Interview Overview
Use this guide to prepare for and conduct empathy interviews, and to dig into the examples to see how teams of equity designers have generated insights from their work.
Plan and analyze interviews
Use this companion tool to plan your interviews, beginning with a clear statement of the challenge you’re working on. The insights and supporting data are the foundation for the next steps in an equity design process.
- Example empathy interview plan – House of Legends: This example of the interview planning tool is based on the work of Andre Zarate, who participated in The CityBridge Design Fellowship in Fall 2021.
- Equity Design Journey Example: This document summarizes some of the key moments in the equity design learning process for the team at Bard Early College High School. This puts empathy interviews in the context of a longer design process.