Most Silicon Valley companies are run by geeks. One of the drawbacks of being a geek is that dealing with other human beings tends not to be a strong suit.
Facebook has found a new way of tackling this problem with a dedicated “empathy team”, whose job is to go around feeling the pain and pleasure of others and translate the experience for the benefit of its engineers.
The first result of this emotional awakening is that Facebook users are not to be called “users” any more. Henceforth they are to be known as “people”.
In a talk last month, Margaret Gould Stewart, director of product design, explained that those formerly known as users “actually have lives, like, outside the experience they have using your product, and so the first step of designing in a human-centred way is to recognise that they’re humans”.
Consequently, she said, the company’s internal dashboards that used to track “daily average users” now measure “daily average people”.
by Lucy Kellaway
See Full Story on irishtimes.com