Assessment of Empathy in Design Thinking Model: A Case Study of Ghanaian Design Company

Document Type : Original Article


1 Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana

2 Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

3 Department of Fine Arts, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana


Design thinking recently has become the model employed in solving difficulties and to improve product and services in design companies. It is known to be user-centric or human-centric which explains how empathetic it is in its design approach. However, it has been observed that even though design thinking is practiced by Ghanaian design industries, the exploit of empathy is not reflective in various deign companies in Ghana, hence a case study to investigate how design companies empathise in their design thinking processes. As a qualitative study, a case and participatory research methods were employed using unstructured interview and participant observation as data collection methods. From the study, it was revealed that 4Heem Apparel similarly practice traditional classic design model where empathy is employed at initial stages of design thinking. Even though it does not affect the quality of design, it sidelines the interest of clients and their involvement in product quality hence affecting its innovative product design. It was therefore suggested that; Ghanaian design companies can be more innovative if they will empathise more with their clients in their design thinking processes.