🔖 Research by the developed on the developing (archive) by Themrise Khan

Research into the issues of the “global south” is dominated by institutions and researches of the “global south”. This research isn’t balanced with an equal voice and perspective from the “global south”. For example:

  • Migration: Issues like border control are looked at from the point of view of preventing illegal migration to the “north” rather than on the reasons why those from the “south” are forced to migrate.
  • Gender: Terms used in the “north” are applied to the “south” without taking into account the different cultures, religions and patriarchal structures. For example, ‘Unpaid care economy’ might mean walking miles to fetch water in rural areas, or access to child-care assistance in urban areas.

The decisions of how the studies are conducted aren’t being developed in the “south”. The hurdles of being published in the “north” means researchers in the “south” don’t have the liberty to develop their own research agendas and methodologies.

🔖 Building empathy in a product team (archive)

Product teams should always keep their customers in mind so that the changes they make doesn’t affect UX negatively. Ideas about making changes to the product should be based on empathy, not assumptions. Empathy means:

  • Understanding the users perspective
  • Not placing blame, rather understanding the cause of the problem
  • Realizing the emotional impact of the problem

While design researchers can communicate some of this, real empathy is felt by seeing users interact with the product first-hand. This empathy leads to a shared understanding of the problem and a motivation to work towards a common goal.