Using Online Reviews as Narratives to Evoke Designer’s Empathy

Christiane Grünloh*, Åke Walldius, Gerhard Hartmann, Jan Gulliksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Gathering health-related data is quite easy, but visualizing them in a meaningful way remains challenging, especially when the application domain is very complex. Research suggests that empathy can facilitate the design process and that narratives can help to create an empathic encounter between designers and the prospective users. We conducted an exploratory quasi-experiment in order to explore whether narratives in form of online reviews are able to evoke designer’s empathy when developing an online platform for a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service. The results suggest that the narratives can help designers to engage with and take the perspective of the prospective user, who is then represented in more detail. Lacking narratives from real people leaves the designers to their own imagination, which can lead to the use of rather abstract stereotypes that do not enable an understanding of the user, but affect the subsequent design decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015
Subtitle of host publication15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Bamberg, Germany, September 14-18, 2015
EditorsJulio Abascal, Simone Barbosa, Mirko Fetter
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-22701-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-22700-9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2015 - Bamberg, Germany
Duration: 14 Sep 201518 Sep 2015
Conference number: 15

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
NameInformation Systems and Applications, incl. Internet/Web, and HCI


Conference15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2015
Abbreviated titleINTERACT 2015
Internet address


  • Human computer interaction
  • Empathy
  • Genetic testing
  • eHealth


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