Getting to Better

Welcome to Getting to Better, our blog for stories, insights, and industry trends surrounding social innovation, capacity building, design thinking, and human-centred design.

How to Use an Empathy Map

Posted by Overlap on July 06, 2018

An Empathy Map is one of those tools that we always keep in our back pocket because it often produces an "aha!" moment and it is incredibly versatile.

Originally developed by Scott Matthews, Empathy Maps provide a process for empathizing with your own customers, service or product users, or stakeholders. They help us dig into a person's experience of the context in which we interact with them.

Continue reading to learn how to use an Empathy Map as a research tool and scroll to the bottom for a free download to try it yourself!

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Tags: Tools, Design Research, Engagement, Human-centred Design, Design Thinking

Five Things to Do in Your Next Patient Engagement Project

Posted by Overlap on December 19, 2017

Good patient engagement, or any qualitative research, is about getting to know a person, not just getting facts. 

How can you conduct better patient engagement?

Continue reading for our five helpful design tips for getting to know your patients.

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Tags: Patient Engagement, Engagement

How a Journal Can be a Powerful Design Research Tool

Posted by Chelsea Mills on November 07, 2017


Journaling is a great way to collect in-depth data on a participant’s experiences. This post will take you through some of the benefits and drawbacks of journaling, and some tips on how you might use journals in your own research.

As with any research tool, there are a few things to take into consideration before deploying it to ensure you’re collecting useful data.

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Tags: Design, Tools, Engagement, Design Research

3 Occasions for an Empathy Map

Posted by Evaleen Hellinga on November 04, 2016

An empathy map is a way for you to understand the experience of an individual or a group. It’s a tool to help you empathize in a meaningful, useful way. You might have guessed, after reading about How to Use an Empathy Map, that the tool gets pulled out of our toolbelt often. We use them all the time in our work. Find three ideal opportunities for filling in an empathy map below, and scroll to the bottom for a free tool download!

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Tags: Tools, Empathy, Engagement, Human-centred Design, Community Engagement

You Don't Know It All. You Can't Do It All.

Posted by Lorraine Randell on October 04, 2016

You don’t know it all. You can’t do it all.

I keep passing this saying, written on a post-it note on the desk of a very esteemed colleague (who most of us would probably say is one of the best equipped to know more and do more) and it brings me back to the truth of why we do this work.

Within human beings there lies a desire to be the winner. We all want to be the one that jumps the fire and saves the princess. We all want to be seen as exceptional.

But when we are looking to solve complex social problems, being exceptional doesn’t help. Even being the best won’t get you where you want to go.

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Tags: Engagement, Diversity, Design Research, Collaboration

How to Facilitate Inclusive Ideation

Posted by Evaleen Hellinga on August 17, 2016

Generally, the reason we bring a group together is to accomplish things we can’t accomplish on our own. Leveraging the inherent diversity of expertise, of experience, and of perspectives in the group will get you to your most innovative ideas in an ideation session.

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Tags: Innovation, Facilitation, Engagement, Diversity, Ideation