Empathy is defined as "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another." This ability is central to designing great products. As designers, we have to be able to identify with our users and feel the same emotions they feel. But how should we gain this understanding when we all come from different walks of life? How do you learn the needs and frustrations of people in professions you have never held yourself?
In this session of Designers + Geeks, we're bringing together designers from several industries to learn how they cultivate empathy in their work. Each speaker will have about 15 minutes to share things that have worked and some that haven't, and how empathy plays a role in their approach to design.
Nobu Nakaguchi is the Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder of Zola, the wedding company reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. Zola launched in 2013 and is the fastest growing wedding company in the country. Nobu oversees Zola’s user experience and product development for both mobile and web. To date, over 300,000 couples have registered on Zola for gifts, experiences, and funds. Zola also offers best-in-class apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch. Additionally, in April 2017, Nobu led the design and creation of Zola Weddings, a free suite of wedding planning tools including wedding websites, a customizable checklist, guest-list manager, and, of course, registry.
Prior to Zola, Nobu worked in user experience design and product management for over 15 years. He was the Senior Director of User Experience at Gilt Groupe, where he managed all of the UX teams across the company and was responsible for the design of Gilt Taste, Gilt Home, Gilt iPad, and Gilt iPhone. Prior to that, he focused on design and product strategies and solutions for a variety of companies such as Salesforce.com, Match.com, HopStop, and Jetsetter. Nobu holds a Master’s degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University.