Empathic design involves two social practices – collaboration with users and intra team collaboration forshared empathic understandings. This study is focused on the latter phenomenon, aiming to characterise a social mechanism underlying it. To achieve this objective, we used a framework of perspective-mixing in empathic design, including three distinct perspectives: first, second, and third-person perspectives. With this framework, we traced how team members share and integrate individuals’ user knowledge and insights to develop and apply their shared empathic understandings. We conducted conversation analysis to examine one design team’s conversations over a design journey from need-finding to initial ideation to prototyping and testing. To characterise this team’s perspective-mixing during their conversations, we analysed how team members took and combined the three perspectives within and between their utterances (perspective transitions). Our analysis revealed that the team used the third-person perspective as an underlying mechanism for perspective-mixing. In addition, the nature of perspective-mixing was distinct for specific design activities – the transitions involving the first and second-person perspectives were prominent during need-finding and initial ideation, while the third-person perspective was predominant during prototyping and testing. Based on these findings, we discuss what and how perspective-mixing can support intrateam collaboration for shared empathic understandings.


This is the author-accepted manuscript of Eunhye Kim, Robin S. Adams & Senay Purzer (2024) A design team’s perspective-mixing for shared empathic understandings, CoDesign. Copyright Taylor & Francis, it's made available here CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record is available at DOI:10.1080/15710882.2024.2314286.

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Available for download on Thursday, February 13, 2025