Empathy

After learning about the five stages in design thinking process we were now supposed to come up with a problem that we would as a team want to solve and help people with.

We were supposed to have four people in a team 2 from MACE and two from other courses. Me and Claudia had figured that we both wanted to be on the same team as we thought we were like minded. We went to Sarah and Najma from the other course as I had worked with them in the introduction week and felt that we all could work very well together. Luckily, I got wonderful bunch of girls as my team as we respect each others views and discuss everything as partners.

While we all four went on searching for a problem that we as a team wanted to solve all I could focus was on EMPATHY. Everything that I would see I would relate to design thinking class. I have been working part time in a cafe at Kingston. While working I started noticing issues that could be solved or needed some solution. After struggling for days I finally saw that we at the cafe had regular customers who would come on their wheelchair to have a cup of coffee.

The counter at the cafe are way to high for them to pay for their coffee and food so person serving them has to get the card machine below for them which makes them feel they are different.

Initially it came to my mind that maybe there should be a card machine placed at a lower length for them so they do not have to always be treated differently.

But as I kept thinking about this I realised there was a bigger issue that needed attention. We go to a cafe or restaurant we make sure we have the best table and the view and corner for us to have a special time. On the other hand for wheelchair users firstly all the tables in a cafe are either to low or too high for them to place there tray . Secondly, while serving them due to lack of space and busy work place we serve them in a hurry and place their tray at whichever table we can find leaving them no choice of their own.

I realised that they make such an extra effort to come from home to a cafe to have a cup of coffee and they don’t even get to choose where they want to sit. Plus there are times when they feel uncomfortable due to different circumstances.

This entire scenario I discussed with my team members and we all agreed to the problem wheel chair users were facing and how these simple pleasures in life which we all take for granted,

Empathising with their situation is what made it clear to us as a team that we wanted to help the wheel chair users to be able to live and choose freely.

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