If you thought any project just involves building wireframes, prototypes, UI and delivery to the client, then your thoughts are wrong. The first step to any project starts with understanding the problem and the users, who will be using the solution of the problem. And to understand your users, you need to have empathy. Getting to know them, their pain points, their experiences; these are important to know before you start jumping into solutions. Empathy will help you understand the actual problem and will help you come up with better solutions.
Let’s take a simple example to help you understand how important empathy is. You are tasked with building a new app where users can rent cycles to explore the city. Before you get started with building ideas and solutions, do some groundwork. Go around the city, and talk to people to understand how this could help them, ask them questions on the need and demand, whether it is worth it or no, how they navigate the city, etc. This is where you understand the pain points, the experiences of the users, and that is what we call empathy. You will unearth quite a bit of information when you just a lend an ear and listen to people. All the inputs you receive, you can apply them to your work to come up with viable solutions and prototypes. When you empathize with your users, you build more user-centric usable products, and isn’t that what needs to be done to develop a world-class product?