Empathy

Learning about this Design Thinking is an itch on my brain. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this in school and I think I’m coming a bit closer to taking in how it works. Innately, I’m a more instinctive, abstract thinker and it has taken me a great deal of effort to edge closer to any sort of methodology in my professional and personal life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to better understand the concept, I have tried to equate the process with one I am familiar with; songwriting.

  1. Empathize: A feeling/emotion – Someone is experiencing a difficult time.
  2. Define: Determine the mood, subject of the song
  3. Ideate: Start tossing around words, thoughts, develop a phrase or word that encapsulates the “problem.”
  4. Prototype: Once the song is finished perform it live for someone and gauge their reaction.
  5. Test: Once you get the feedback you need, tweak the song if it’s a keeper, then record it and release it to the world and see what happens. If it doesn’t elicit a reaction. Scrap it and start over trying to dig into what worked and what didn’t work.

Of course, these actions don’t happen in a perfectly linear fashion and, in truth, I’m going out on a limb here. I’m not 100% sure I’ve understood this concept of “Design Thinking” just yet!  I guess I’m trying to reverse-empathize and make this concept relatable to me!

Many times I write songs with a group of other writers which is probably more relevant. we toss ideas around, some stick, some don’t. We keep each other on track, always trying to come back to that initial “problem” or emotion/story we’re trying to resolve or express with the song. Sometimes we have to meet multiple times before the song is “finished.” Even in the recording studio, things can change dramatically. Recently I recorded a song, “Bittersweet” which I co-wrote with three other songwriters. When I got into the studio to sing it, the chorus sounded really high and more like a background part. A week later, I returned to the studio and came up with a new melody for the chorus that sounded more authentic.

Recently I recorded a song, “Bittersweet” which I co-wrote with three other songwriters. When I got into the studio to sing it, the chorus sounded really high and more like a background part. It didn’t really bother two of my co-writers, but two of us weren’t loving it. A week later, I returned to the studio and came up with a new melody for the chorus that sounded more authentic to my voice and the song.

Bittersweet isn’t written about anything or anyone in particular. We all sat together and tried to think of people we knew who were in relationships that were unhealthy or failing. How they often will justify the relationship by any means available or, perhaps, simply are simply choosing to systematically put themselves in complicated situations for emotional/psychological reasons. With did a lot of empathizing during the first session!

I don’t have the original version, but imagine a mouse with its tail caught in the door.

This version sounds much better.