At the time AirBNBÂ was so small, Joe Gebbia personally went to listers to photograph homes for the listings. In taking these photos…
â€œWe got so close that we go to step into their shoes for a moment and see the world through their eyes, and really see the pain points that they were feeling,â€ says Gebbia. Thatâ€™s the basis of innovation â€” you take an enlightened and empathetic point of view and combine it with your own unique point of view to create something new. In a short period of time, the quality of listings improved and number of options increased.
In the How I Built This with Guy Raz podcast, Gebbia calls this Enlightened Empathy.
While doing web design, we talked to the administrators for the department who wanted a site. In doing support for the sites, I would get to talk to users to understand what they were trying to accomplish and make tweaks or major re-designs to make that experience better.
There is a whole profession, User Experience Designer, built around the idea of engaging representative users to understand how they use technology to ensure the design reflects how people will use it.