Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Helping you empathize: Types of listening

UX requires empathy with the user. You need to be able to feel the users delight and disappointment as if it were your own. There are many modes of listening and I found this random but awesome article breaking down the types of Listening:
  1. passive/not listening - noise in background - ignoring
  2. pretend listening - also called 'responsive listening' - using stock nods and smiles and uhum, yes, of course, etc.
  3. biased/projective listening - 'selective listening' and intentionally disregarding/dismissing the other person's views
  4. misunderstood listening - unconsciously overlaying your own interpretations and making things fit when they don't
  5. attentive listening - personally-driven fact gathering and analysis often with manipulation of the other person
  6. active listening - understanding feelings and gathering facts for largely selfish purposes
  7. empathic listening - understanding and checking facts and feelings, usually to listener's personal agenda
  8. facilitative listening - listening, understanding fully, and helping, with the other person's needs uppermost
User testing and user interviews often fall somewhere between 6 and 7. An ideal customer service experience with IT should be 8.

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