What Can Machine Learning Contribute to Empathy in Design? How to Build a Journey Map Using Big Data and Text Sentiment Analysis

Sarah Pagliaccio
Principal, User Experience Designer
Black Pepper

What can machine learning contribute to empathy in design? How to build a journey map using big data and text sentiment analysis.

Art and design are meant to reflect the world around us, show empathy for those we design for, and reflect the emotional state of our customers and target users. But how are we meant to empathize with situations that are unfamiliar or out of context? What happens when we over-empathize and project our own emotional states on our customers’ experiences? That’s where machine learning comes in. With enough input, we can use machine learning tools, specifically text sentiment analysis, to provide an objective score of our users’ emotional experiences. By feeding transcripts of customer interviews into a computer, we can remove our own subjectivity from our analysis and form a holistic picture of others’ needs and wants.

These sentiment scores can turn words into pictures, emotions into graphs, expanding our understanding of design goals and tasks.

Using Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a case study, we will talk through the emotional journey, i.e., the customer journey map, of major characters in the play using text sentiment analysis. A discussion of how these techniques can be applied to consumer application and website design will follow.

Guided Experiential Learning for Design Innovators

C.J. Yeh
Professor, Assistant Chair
Graphic Design

Fashion Institute of Technology

FIT is one of the pioneers in creative technology and design education. For this presentation, the founder of the Creative Technology program at FIT, C.J. Yeh, will introduce the most innovative design projects from FIT’s creative technology courses.

FIT’s Creative Technology curriculum has strong focuses on augment and virtual reality, user experience design, design thinking, and digital thinking. Digital thinking is probably the primary difference between Creative Technology and the other programs at FIT. For Creative Technology program at FIT, technology is more than just a tool, it is an arena in which the students learn to explore new possibilities in digital media and conceptualize new experiences and digital product innovations that has never been done before.

One of the most unique pedagogy from FIT’s Creative Technology and Design Program is called “Guided Experiential Learning.” It is a unique merger between the traditional studio classes and internship. Through its Guided Experiential Learning initiatives, FIT faculty and students have worked with major brands and international research institutions like the National Football League (NFL), Infor, and Fabrica–a highly regarded research center in Italy. For each Guided Experiential Learning project, FIT’s faculty design customized workshops, lectures, and training to maximize the learning for students, and, at the same time, ensure the collaborating brands/organizations receive the highest quality design products at the end of the process.

This presentation will share case studies, best practices, and insights on how Guided Experiential Learning has been adopted in higher education. Relevant pedagogies and teaching methodologies will be introduced, and a discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities particularly in its application and relevance to college-level design education.