Overcoming bias and developing empathy
Here are two interesting articles that feed right into the themes of my workshop, The Designer is Present, happening at the end of this month at UX Australia.
An Appeal to Our Inner Judge is about how biases – judgements we make quickly about others – are natural but can be overcome. The excerpt below comes at the end and is applicable to many things, not the least of which is becoming a better user researcher.
Recognize and accept that you have biases. Develop the capacity to observe yourself in action and to notice when certain people or circumstances serve as triggers.
Learning to slow down decision-making, especially when it affects other people, can help reduce the impact of bias. This can be particularly important when we are in circumstances that make us feel awkward or uncomfortable.
No Time to Think considers our always-on culture and the reluctance we have (as a result?) to be in the off position and (ulp!) alone with our thoughts. In the quoted part below, from the end of the article, it makes the case for what I’m aiming for with the workshop; that presence and mindfulness are essential for the work that many of us are doing.
Studies suggest that [a lack of presence] impairs your ability to empathize with others. “The more in touch with my own feelings and experiences, the richer and more accurate are my guesses of what passes through another person’s mind. Feeling what you feel is an ability that atrophies if you don’t use it.”