Empathy-Driven Design: A Touchy-Feely Approach to Software Development


“Our users are morons!”

How many times have you heard this from someone on your development team? The fact is, your users’ brains are less important than their feelings. To build great software, you must be able to empathize. Not just with your users, but with your teammates and with your own true self.

Luckily, you already have all the tools you need to be a master empathizer. I’ll show how my unique and often embarrassing life experiences have taught me empathy, and I’ll teach you the secrets of empathy-driven design: how to pull from your own experiences, how to identify the “pain points” in your software, and how to sell the empathetic approach to your team without looking like a big softie.

Dan Blaker


Dan Blaker is a project manager with a heart of gold (and 13 years’ experience in the software industry). Born a poor white hippie on a Tennessee commune, he learned at an early age how to walk in someone else’s shoes—because he literally had to share his shoes with the other kids on the commune.