“Its touch is light; effort never strains.”

Everything about the typewriter pleased and still pleases me. Its touch is firm; you hit a key, and the machine gives you feedback that work has been done. Its touch is light; effort never strains. It hums while you think. It’s heavy enough to not slide around when I put it on a coffee table and sit cross-legged on a couch and start to write. Its ribbon is easily accessible, and this is a good thing, because sometimes, to avoid confusion, I use one color for what my interview subjects say and a different color for my own thoughts. I still turn to it when writer’s block strikes. And sometimes just for a different writing experience. My grandmother’s typerwriter asks me to compose a sentence before I begine to type. It brings back the pleasures of the deliberate and the familiar.

The Empathy Diaries – a memoir
Sherry Turkle

Currently deep in this read by Turkle, but this passage helped me realize WHY I studied psychology and industrial design in college. Through open observation, purposeful prototyping, and the careful creation of an object for another human, I have always hoped to have this type of impact on those that build for. While I don’t control the environment or context of their life, I do control the object or experience I am building for them. I put my heart and energy into its creation for another person to enjoy and possibly love.

I try to put this type of care into my personal relationships and work as a user experience designer. Unlike physical objects, relationships and digital designs are always changing, flexing, flowing, improving, and evolving. This continued care is difficult for those that seek permanent and or fixed structures. This continued care is difficult for teams and companies that are unwilling or unable to invest in continued relationships with their end users. 

This is WHY some designers empathetically and compassionately design products and experiences for other people. Through design we can show LOVE, are willing to take the time, and do the work in order to design beautiful experiences. It's a relationship, it has always been about creating a relationship with people. Making it revenue first or even revenue controlled makes the relationship a commodity. 

I heard a review of the book and Turkle’s work on how technology influences how we identify ourselves and others. Obviously, this topic is extremely important to me AND to how I hope to help individuals and teams through Empathy Lab.

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