Why empathy, not data, is the key to innovation

07/31/2011 | Wall Street Journal, The

The best way to come up with a killer product is to understand and empathize with your target audience, says industrial designer Gianfranco Zaccai of Continuum. He sends designers to lie in hospital beds, scrub floors and even live in consumers' homes to fully understand how products will be used. The philosophy behind the firm's innovations, one staffer says, is to "go to where the lion is hunting, not the zoo."

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