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To want their products or services to genuinely function for customers is a reasonable goal for most businesses. While this sounds straightforward, there can be a mismatch between expectation and delivery. An important step towards avoiding that is to begin the design process with empathy, which is among the most crucial components of both design thinking and the broader field of human-centered design. You might be wondering what design thinking empathy is, and why is it so important to business? Let’s examine this and how it can assist you as a design thinker to develop solutions that truly benefit consumers.What is Empathy in Design Thinking?
The first stage of the design thinking process is empathy. It is the capacity to see the world from the other person’s perspective, and put yourself in their situation in order to experience what they do. In order to properly relate with customers, a designer needs to intentionally set aside preconceived preconceptions and discover their true underlying requirements. This promotes developing long-term, sustainable solutions that are focused on relevant issues.Why is it Important to Use Empathy in Design Thinking?
Design thinking empathy is a skill that allows you to understand and share the same feelings that others feel. Most of us tend to see other people and their feelings from our perspective, and we continue to create a distorted image of others based on our own preconceived assumptions. It’s crucial to amend this behavior since it limits our capacity for empathy. This is especially important for designers in order to understand the psychology of the user.
Through careful observation and personal interaction, designers can create goods that delight customers and simplify their lives. Without empathy, the design process lacks the crucial user-centricity that frequently makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful product.Design Thinking Empathy Examples Intuit’s Follow Me Home Program
Intuit is the organization behind financial tools QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. These help over 37 million users keep track of their spending, manage payroll, and file their personal and company taxes. Since 1989, Intuit has operated a program called Follow Me Home, which enables the business to observe clients in their homes, workplaces, and other locations in order to learn how they use the company’s products in their everyday lives—their likes and dislikes as well as potential difficulties faced. These observations, together with further client feedback, lead to real product upgrades and adjustments.OXO’s Good Grips Line
OXO is a manufacturer of home goods, office products, and kitchenware. It debuted its Good Grips range in 1990, revolutionizing consumer goods. The Good Grips range was created to make kitchenware simpler to use for everyone, including those suffering from arthritis. OXO researchers and designers learned that certain types of movements, such as tugging, pushing, or brushing, required a different style of handle as compared to other instruments. They realized this via observation and interviews. These handles needed to be more substantial and constructed from a material that was easier to hold onto. Consequently, the OXO handle was created and is today renowned for its unique ergonomic design and characteristic non-slip grip.What are the Types of Empathy in Design Thinking?
There are two sorts of empathy involved here: emotional and cognitive.Emotional Empathy
Instincts, emotions and common experiences serve as the foundation of emotional empathy. Students are encouraged through design thinking to develop their curiosity and confront prejudices in order to find something in common with those who may be different from them. Emotional empathy is a foundational skill that design team members need to develop before they focus on the user for whom they are generating solutions.Cognitive Empathy
Learning and comprehending through ideas, experiences, and senses is known as cognitive empathy. This include knowledge, memory, judgment, reasoning, and decision-making, too. So, humility is required to understand diverse points of view. We need to acknowledge that, despite our expertise in our own fields of study, we don’t necessarily know everything.Common Ways to Achieve Empathic Design
The five key ways for achieving design thinking empathy are:
Reflection and analysis
Brainstorming for solutions
Developing prototypesIs Design Thinking Rooted in Human Empathy?
Simply put, empathy is essential to a human-centered design approach like design thinking because it enables you to put aside your own worldview and develop an understanding of your consumers and their requirements. It helps to gather as many experiences, insights, and observations as you can during the empathy stage of the design thinking process. In that sense, empathy is at the base of design thinking.
Additionally, with its power to unearth and explain the innate needs and feelings of the people, design thinking empathy is significant and crucial for designers. Emeritus offers a wide range of online courses in Product Design and Innovation to help you hone your design skills and stay ahead of the pack.
By Siddhesh Shinde
You're reading What Is Design Thinking Empathy? Is It Really Important?
blog / Project Management Is Project Documentation Really Important? How Does it Help?
Project documentation is written information that describes the processes, plans, and activities involved in a project. It includes documents such as the project charter, requirements, design, test cases, and user manuals that provide a comprehensive overview of the project, its goals, and the steps taken to achieve them. It helps ensure that all stakeholders are informed and aligned and provides a reference for future use.Benefits of Project Documentation Improved Communication
It helps to communicate project goals, plans, and progress to all stakeholders.Increased Efficiency
Clear documentation helps streamline processes, reduces misunderstandings and rework, and saves time.Better Collaboration
Documentation can facilitate collaboration between team members and improve coordination among different departments.Improved Quality
Proper documentation helps ensure the project is executed according to established standards and processes, leading to higher-quality outcomes.Reference for Future Use
It is a valuable reference for future projects, allowing organizations to learn from past experiences and continuously improve.Compliance
Documentation is often required to meet regulatory or legal requirements and helps demonstrate due diligence and accountability.Types of Project Documentation
Outlines the purpose, goals, stakeholders, and high-level plans for the project
Defines the specific needs and expectations of the stakeholders
Profiles the technical details of how the project will be executed
Outlines the steps and conditions needed to test the project’s deliverables
Offers instructions on how to use and operate the project’s end product
: Give regular updates on the project’s progress, risks, and issues
: Provide a record of discussions, decisions, and action items from project meetings
Risk Management Plan:
Outlines the processes and strategies for identifying, mitigating, and managing project risks
Change Management Plan:
Elaborates the processes and procedures for managing changes to the project scope, schedule, and budget
Lessons Learned Report:
Documents the successes and failures of the project and identifies opportunities for improvement in future projects
ALSO READ: How These Top 10 Project Management Tools Can Help You Streamline Your WorkflowWhat Makes Project Documentation So Important? 1. Enhances Communication
It helps to communicate project goals, plans, and progress to all stakeholders, reducing misunderstandings and miscommunications.2. Facilitates Collaboration
It provides a shared understanding of the project and helps align expectations among all the stakeholders, improving collaboration and coordination.3. Ensures Compliance
Documentation is often required to meet regulatory or legal requirements and helps demonstrate due diligence and accountability.4. Increases Transparency
Project documentation provides a transparent record of the project and its progress, allowing stakeholders to track its development and make informed decisions5. Improves Quality
It helps ensure that the project is executed according to established standards and processes, leading to higher-quality outcomes6. Serves as a Reference
Project documentation is a valuable reference for future projects, allowing organizations to learn from past experiences and continuously improve7. Supports Decision-Making
It provides a comprehensive understanding of the project, its goals, and the steps taken to achieve them, supporting informed decision-making and problem-solvingHow to Create Project Documentation?
Here are the steps required to create project documentation:1. Define the Purpose
Understand the purpose and goals of the project and determine what information should be included in the documentation.2. Determine the Audience
Identify who the documentation is for, the information they need, and how they will use it.3. Choose the Format
Decide on the format that best suits the needs of the audience.4. Gather Information
Collect relevant information, such as project plans, status updates, meeting minutes, and other relevant data.5. Organize Information
Organize the information in a logical and easy-to-follow structure, ensuring it is clear, concise, and easy to understand.6. Write the Documentation
Write the documentation clearly, concisely, and professionally, using simple language and avoiding technical jargon.7. Review and Approve
Have the relevant stakeholders review and approve the documentation to ensure accuracy and alignment with project goals.8. Distribute and Maintain
You can distribute the documentation to all stakeholders and keep it updated throughout the project cycle.9. Regularly Update
Regularly update the documentation as the project progresses to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.Strategies for Writing Project Documentation
Here are some tips for writing effective project documentation:
Keep it Simple:
Use clear and concise language and avoid technical jargon
Focus on the Reader:
Write the documentation keeping the reader, their needs, and expectations in mind
Use consistent formatting, terminology, and tone throughout the documentation
Keep it Relevant:
Only include information that is relevant to the project and the reader
Use Visual Aids:
Utilize visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, and tables, to help illustrate the information and make it easier to understand
Keep the documentation updated to ensure it remains accurate and relevant
Seek feedback from stakeholders and make necessary updates based on the same
ALSO READ: 5 Best Software for Project Management That Can Be Used by AnyoneTips for Project Documentation
Clearly define the purpose and goals of the project and document them in a project charter
Maintain a project schedule and track progress regularly. Document any deviations from the schedule and the reasons behind them
Keep minutes of all project meetings and decisions made. Store them in a central location for easy access to all team members
Document all project requirements, including functional and non-functional requirements
Maintain a change management log to record all the alterations made to the project and the reasons behind them
Document risks associated with the project, including potential impacts and mitigation strategies
Keep a record of resources used in the project, including time, money, and personnel
Document project deliverables, including specifications, timelines, and acceptance criteria
Maintain a log of project issues and their status. You can ensure sure that all issues are documented, assigned to a responsible person, and tracked until it is resolved
Conduct regular reviews of the project documentation and update it as needed. This will ensure that the documentation remains relevant and accurate throughout the projectProject Documentation Tools
Some popular project documentation tools include Microsoft Office Suite and project management software such as Asana, Trello, Jira, Google Workspace, Confluence, Notion, Evernote, and Dropbox Paper. These help streamline the documentation process and facilitate collaboration among team members. The choice of tool depends on the project’s specific needs and requirements.How to Avoid Common Project Documentation Mistakes?
To avoid common project documentation mistakes, keep it up-to-date, use clear and concise language, focus on the reader’s needs and expectations, seek stakeholder feedback, regularly review and update documentation, store it securely and make it easily accessible, and only include relevant information. Additionally, start documenting early and use templates for consistency.
In conclusion, project documentation is a crucial part of any project. It acts as a roadmap and sets you up for success. Additionally, to learn more about project documentation and other project management-related tools, explore these online courses on project management offered by Emeritus, created in collaboration with leading global experts.
By Siddhesh Shinde
Write to us at [email protected]
PopSci is spending September relearning how to eat. As intuitive as our love of chowing down is, a lot stands between us and optimal eating. This month, we’ll break down diet myths, unlock delicious kitchen hacks, and explore our most common misconceptions about our grub.
How would you describe the flavor of parmesan cheese? What about the aftertaste of a rich beef broth, or the earthy tones of fresh mushrooms? You can almost place it, it’s just at the tip of your tongue … ah, umami. This millennia-old flavor was identified in only the last 120 years, and entered Western lexicon even more recently. The Japanese word translates to “pleasant, savory taste” or “mouthfulness,” and has its place alongside sweet, salty, bitter, and sour as the basic gustations.
The core of the umami flavor comes from two non-essential amino acids: aspartic acids and glutamic acids, or glutamates. Aspartic acid occurs naturally in vegetables like asparagus, while glutamates are found in a myriad of ingredients, including ripe tomatoes, cured meats, aged cheeses, soy sauce, and kelp. The glutamate you’re probably most familiar with is monosodium glutamate (MSG).
In fact, the story of MSG’s mass production dates back to the century-old knowledge of umami. As legend has it, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda was dining with his family when he noticed that the dashi broth that his wife Tei made had a striking flavor. This flavor reminded him of the unique taste in tomatoes, meat, and cheese. Tei had used kelp in the broth, so Kikunae embarked on understanding the plant’s composition. A year later, he isolated glutamate in kelp as the source of the savoriness. A year after that, he developed and patented the process to extract MSG as a salt. These days, about three million tons of MSG get cranked out by food manufacturers each year.How our bodies understand umami
But how does the brain even know when umami, or any flavor, is in a dish? On the tongue, bundles of taste receptor cells form taste buds. While all different receptors are spread over the tongue, the particular family of receptors that clock umami flavors are called G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Within the GPCR family are a group of siblings, so to speak, called T1R1, T1T2, and T1R3. All the T1R siblings have similar large structures to collect information from their environment. When the glutamates in umami-rich foods bind to these receptors, the cells kick into action.
The T1R receptors are also present all throughout the digestive tract, where they play another crucial role: They train your brain to crave protein-rich foods. “The glutamate receptors signal to the brain that what you just ate had protein in it,” says Linda Bartoshuk, a University of Florida professor who studies the psychophysics of taste. “And the brain is wired to make you like protein. So the brain produces what’s called a ‘condition preference’ for the sensory characteristics of the food that came with the glutamate.” That means when you eat cheese or meat, the glutamate receptors in your gut tell your brain to associate those tastes with protein and make you want to crave those foods more.
Flavor scientists still have plenty of questions on how and why the glutamate receptors function. A study out of China from January 2023 used a simulation to examine the compound effects of MSG, umami peptides, and the T1R1/T1R3 receptors to look at their chemical interactions. Meanwhile, this past July, researchers in Italy created the first 3D models of these taste receptors. These tools will be a great help to researchers who want to get a deeper understanding of what sets off the flood of umami flavors on the tongue—and in the brain.
“If we want to think about virtual taste experiences, or taste prosthetics, we actually need to understand the molecules that produce this experience for us to simulate that,” says Joost Maier, a neurobiologist at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
There’s also evidence that other animals sense umami. Hummingbirds, for example, love sweet nectar, but they lack the T1R2 receptor that’s typically connected to the flavor. Instead, they use T1R1 and T1R3 to detect sugary sensations, along with some savory ones.The umami mystery continues
As delicious as umami-rich foods may be, there’s no consensus on whether it’s actually a core taste like sweet, salty, and so on. That’s not to say that umami isn’t a real flavor—there’s just contention over how prominent its sensory role is.
“Basic taste has no real definition,” Bartoshuk says, pointing to less-used descriptors like metallic and acidic. She believes the idea of umami being a core taste arose in the 1940s from companies that produce MSG-rich foods. “They thought they could call it something like a basic taste it would sell better,” she notes.
Maier has a different perspective; he says basic taste is a common experience that we can agree upon. “Salty has a certain experience that we can communicate to other people that makes sense to everybody,” he explains.
[Related: Learn the science to food pairing here]
One potential reason umami hasn’t been wholly welcomed into the taste family could be because glutamate receptors were discovered only recently, Maier says. US biologist Nirupa Chaudhari published the first paper on them in 1996.
“I don’t think [glutamates] play as big a role in the flavor of things like tomato and cheese as people claim,” Bartoshuk says. “I think that’s exaggerated, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a natural component of foods, and that’s fine.”
It’s also important to mention that glutamates work best in bringing out other tastes. MSG dissolved in water, for example, isn’t so appetizing—but in a broth or paired with other flavorings, you can have a Ratatouille moment.
In a nutshell, umami is the sophisticated sibling among its taste posse. While it might be tough to explain at first, it becomes one of those sensations where you know it when you taste it. After that, you won’t be able to get enough.
Correction September 23, 2023: Joost Maier’s last name was previously misspelled throughout the story. It has now been corrected.
In this article, we will discuss the gist of the firm’s capital structure.
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The discount rate is a function of the risk inherent in any business and industry, the uncertainty regarding the projected cash flows, and the assumed capital structure. In general, discount rates vary across different businesses and industries. The greater the uncertainty about the projected cash stream, the higher the appropriate discount rate and the lower the current value of the cash stream.Extract the Capital Structure from Annual Report
We require the proportion of Equity and Debt in the capital structure to calculate the discount rate using our ABC example. For the capital structure calculations, the annual reports of ABC have provided us with the following information on Debt and Equity related items from the footnotes.
The capitalization table of ABC company is as per below.Understanding the Capital Structure of the Firm Short-Term Borrowings
Short-term borrowings are an account shown in the current liabilities portion of a company’s balance sheet. This account comprises any debt incurred by a company due within one year. A company typically takes out short-term bank loans to make up the debt in this account. ABC needs to pay $5.2 million within one year and the interest (coupon) of 3.2%.Revolver
Revolving credit is a type of credit that does not have a fixed number of payments, in contrast to installment credit. Examples of revolving credits used by consumers include credit cards or overdraft facilities. Corporate revolving credit facilities are typically useful to provide liquidity for a company’s day-to-day operations. In the context of company ABC, they have a pre-approved loan facility of up to $30 million. However, ABC has drawn only $14.2 from the bank.Typical Characteristics of Revolver Loan
The borrower may use or withdraw funds up to a pre-approved credit limit.
The available credit decreases and increases as funds are borrowed and repaid.
The credit may be used repeatedly.
The borrower makes payments based only on the amount they’ve actually used or withdrawn, plus interest.
The borrower may repay over time (subject to any minimum payment requirement) or in full at any time.
In some cases, the borrower needs to pay a fee to the lender for any money that is undrawn on the revolver; this is especially true of corporate bank loan revolving credit facilities.Bonds
The authorized issuer is obligated to pay the holders a debt in a bond and, depending on the bond terms, must pay interest (the coupon) and/or repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity. A bond is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals. Company ABC has taken a loan of $80 million, out of which ABC needs to repay the amortizing portion of the bond i.e. principal repayment of $12 million within a year.
Long-term = $80 – $12 = $68 (maturity of more than one year)
Short Term = $ 12 million (amortizing portion, principal repayment)Convertible Bonds
A convertible bond is a type of bond that the holder can convert into shares of common stock in the issuing company or cash of equal value at an agreed-upon price. It is a hybrid security with debt- and equity-like features. Although it typically has a low coupon rate, the instrument carries additional value through the option to convert the bond to stock, thereby participating in further growth in the company’s equity value. The investor receives the potential upside of conversion into equity while protecting the downside with cash flow from the coupon payments. In ABC, convertible bonds have a face value of $100 and a coupon rate of 4.5% (interest expense). The conversion price is $25, which implies each bond converts into 4 shares.Straight Preferred Stocks
Preferred stock, also called preferred shares, is a special equity security that resembles properties of an equity and a debt instrument and is generally a hybrid instrument. Preferred Stocks are senior (i.e. higher ranking) to common stock but are subordinate to bonds.
This stock usually carries no voting rights but may carry priority over common stock in the payment of dividends and upon liquidation. Preferred stock may carry a dividend before any dividends are paid to common stockholders.Cumulative versus Non-cumulative Preferred Stocks
Preferred stock can either be cumulative or noncumulative. A cumulative preferred stock requires that if a company fails to pay any dividend or amount below the stated rate, it must make up for it later. Dividends accumulate with each passed dividend period, which can be quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. When a company fails to declare a dividend in time, it is said to have “passed” the dividend, and all passed dividends on a cumulative stock become dividends in arrears. Investors refer to a stock that lacks this feature as a noncumulative or straight preferred stock, where any passed dividends are permanently lost if not declared.Convertible Preferred Stocks
In ABC, the preferred stock’s face value (FV) is $18. Each preferred stock converts to one ordinary share at a conversion price of $20.
The key to getting WACC correct is to get the capital structure right. Hence, we need to classify our capitalization table from the perspective of Debt and Equity.Summary of Classification as Debt and Equity
In this article, we have understood the capital structure of the firm. In our next article, we will understand convertible features. Till then, Happy Learning!Recommended Articles
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Detailed Capital Structure, so just go through the link.
Bluetooth: Is It Really As Secure As We Think
Yes, it can be hacked too to get your personal information or just to tease you or whatever the reason is. Talking about Bluetooth getting hacked, let’s just know the types of Bluetooth attacks that can happen and how they work.Types Of Bluetooth Attacks
Here are some of the major Bluetooth threats that you aren’t aware of:
It is the method in which hackers can send direct messages to users device by using wireless network. With Bluejacking, it gets easy to access someones Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, laptops, printers and PDAs as well. Hackers can get into the range of frequency of Bluetooth that is roughly 10 metres and can access phones through monitoring frequency. This can be protected by making your phone not discoverable or by turning Bluetooth off.
This technique is also used for getting into system. But, difference between this and the other techniques is that it uses software bug as a backdoor to get into the system instead of wireless medium. Fortunately, only few mobile phones are vulnerable to Bluebugging.
Denial of Service (DOS):
In this type of technique, hackers use their Bluetooth device to send requests repeatedly on user’s device for pairing. With these requests, services of phone are downed. This can also be used to trouble the victim and for creating nuisance.
Read Also: 10 Ways To Keep Personal Data Safe From Online AttackersBluetooth Attack Preventions
Well, there are few precautions that you could implement to save yourself from these types of attacks.
1. Turn Off Bluetooth
This is best way to stay out of danger. There would be no possibility of tracking frequencies when Bluetooth connection is disabled as the device will not be visible to the rest of the devices. So, there will no other way for hackers to get in through it.
2. Become Undiscoverable
This is another way of staying prevented from Bluetooth hacks. If your mobile phone has active Bluetooth connection but isn’t discoverable, then there are chances that your data might stay safe. So, if your Bluetooth is discoverable, just disable it when not in use.
3. Change Bluetooth PIN Frequently
Yes, if you change your Bluetooth personal identification number (PIN) then it would be very difficult for the active actors to get into the device. So, just to stay on the safe side make sure you change Bluetooth PIN every month.
4. Bluetooth Firewall
Last but not the least, you can always use a mobile Bluetooth firewall application on your device. Bluetooth firewall apps are available on play store. These apps would make your Bluetooth untraceable and more secure.
Must Read: Mobile Security Threats You Need to KnowQuick Reaction:
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Why Cyber Security Is Important?
Uprising Cost of Breaches
Certainly, cybercriminals are benefited with every targeting firm and person. With every attack not only, the firms are losing their funds, but this is also increasing confidence of hackers. If we talk about the recent statistics, the average cost of a single data breach for the wealthy organization is around £20,000. However, the real damage is not financial losses but the cost that will be included for remedies and fixing the reputation of the company.
Easy Access to Hacking Tools
Hackers use sophisticated devices and tools to get in a company’s system or network. The more skilled and well-funded a hacker is, the more he poses a risk to a company. Also, the wide accessibility of hacking tools on the internet gives room to novice hackers to learn a trick or two.
Previous Data Breaches
Hackers are skilled and know their work in and out. They are using internet resources to get the most of them. They use prior data breaches information and gained all the required data. In fact, the previous data breaches provide an uncountable number of well-funded and coordinated cyber-attacks against the big organizations. If we talk about the big company, then Deloitte (world’s largest cybersecurity consultant organization) fell in the 2023 attack.
It seems like invading the privacy of big companies seems to be a joke to hackers. To prevent these data breaches, companies need to work on the security measures, patchwork and hire professionals to do damage control, if in case any.
Things that can be affected by a breach of security:
Education system: grades, history, research information and credit scores.
Health system: medical records, history and equipment.
Financial systems: paychecks, loan and bank accounts.
Government system: database, tax records, licenses, Social Security no.
Communication systems: sensitive information, client information, email, contact numbers and messages.
What’s the Prevention?
To prevent yourself and your company, you need to know about the attack and its risk. You can find the loopholes available in the security system of the organization and fix them with patchwork. So, here are a few things that will help you to understand why cybersecurity is important and how to stay secure.
Do not open an attachment that you’ve received from untrusted sources.
Some of the attachments are created with the purpose to gain access to the machine. In fact, phishing emails are one of the biggest reasons for the hacker’s success.
Never ever access an email that directly appears into the spam folder.
Emails that you get in spam folder can be infected and hackers can trick you to get into your system. It is recommended to access the emails that you’ve received from known sources.
Use reliable anti-malware program
Whenever you get pop-up messages on your screen that asks you to call because there is a virus on your system, then you need to ignore such messages. Hackers sometimes pretend like they are from some technical support and wants to help you regarding your system. It is not like all the technical support are bogus, some of them are legitimate companies that are working to provide genuine help. However, you need to stay alert while contacting one.
The bottom line:
Every business needs to fight cybercrime by strengthening the security of the business. You need to take proper security measures to stay protected against cybersecurity threats. You can hire a professional or IT department to work on the vulnerabilities.
We hope to you will find this article useful and understand the need of cyber security.
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