7 Ways to Build Empathy Through User Research

Els Aerts is the “A” in AGConsult, a company that has been perfecting user research and CRO for nearly 20 years.

80% of companies say they’re customer-centric, but only 8% of their customers agree; user research can help close the gap and build empathy to solve user problems.

HOW TO: Incorporate in-person user testing to improve your product/website experience

Focus groups are great for ideation but absolutely useless when it comes to user testing and building empathy with customers. As you can tell, Els feels quite strongly about this:


1-on-1 testing with 5 participants is all you need to extract rich data and develop empathy for your target audience. The other room is for observers/clients that would like to see the test live.

Link the live video of the test to the observation room →

AirPlayAirPlay video from your iPhone

Moderators must be 3 people at once. They must welcome and make participants feel at ease like a flight attendant, relay information to the observation room like a sportscaster, and observe and document like a scientist.

Els walks you through what it takes to be a good moderator at 23:20 →

Moderator 101 

Give participants a task to complete — “Customize your favorite hammock design and then contact the live chat assistant to see if the color is available for immediate shipping.” If they struggle at certain points, you know where to make changes to smooth out the process.

You will need a usability testing software to set up the scenario and record participants →

MoraeSet up, record, observe, and analyze usability studies

Participants should do 99% of the talking in the test. You don’t want to influence how they interact with your product or website, just simply observe how they naturally approach it.

Run your scenario and test questions through this analyzer to make sure you’re not expressing any unwanted tones →

IBM Tone AnalyzerDetect emotions found in text

If most participants struggle with the same thing in your scenario, send decision-makers a digest of 30-second clips showing each person going through it separately to drive the point home and get it fixed.

Capture the user test and edit the video quickly with →

CamtasiaThe Best All-In-One Screen Recorder and Video Editor

The top task survey lets you know why visitors are coming to your site and what they expect to find. The exit survey is to follow up and see if you’re missing anything. Adjust your site accordingly.

Control when the surveys pop up and start gathering feedback →

Lucky Orange PollsVisitor Polls & Surveys
*Tools outlined in Orange were mentioned by the presenter.
*Tools outlined in Blue are Successly recommended (not sponsored).