For engineering design to be successful, it is essential to understand customer experience and identify customer needs. However, it is challenging to understand customers, especially those from different national cultures. The empathy literature suggests that having similar experiences to another person can help understand them better. This study adopts an empathy measure from psychology for use in a project where designers attempt to understand customers’ driving experiences in different countries and identify their needs for detecting road hazards. We quantify designers’ empathic accuracy and the correctness of their rating of customers’ emotional tone. The results show that national cultural differences significantly affect the accuracy of designers’ empathic understanding but do not impact their understanding of customers’ emotional tone.
- customer needs
- engineering design
- national cultural differences
- understanding customers