The goal of Self-Immersion is to put yourself in the position of another person and to make first-hand experiences and walk in the shoes of your customers. For example, you can engage in things and activities that people normally do or use empathy tools.


In order to empathize better with other people, we should first of all observe ourselves. We are trying to see things from the other person‘s perspective in order to understand them better.


  • Self-Immersion: You will need one person who performs the self-immersion process.

  • Documentation: A second team member documents the process very closely. He / She should take notes and, if possible, photos.


  • Environment: Ideally, you should slip into someone’s role in the same environment that he / she usually is in. If it is not possible to physically be in the same environment, try to model it as closely as possible.

  • Documentation: Note pad, pen and camera


1. Preparation

1.1 Selection: Select or decide among your team what situations, environments or people you want to immerse yourselves in.


1.2 Discussion: Discuss possible experiences you would like to try out.

2. Self-Immersion

2.1 Step into the role: Step into the role and pay careful attention to how you are feeling (what does it feel like to be in this situation?)


2.2 “Aha” - moments: Watch out for little “aha” moments, for hurdles and problems, and also for surprises.


2.3 Documentation: The designated team member documents the self-immersion in every detail and takes photos, if possible.



3. Tips

  • Don’t lose the balance between objectivity and subjectivity. You are still the designing team and not the target group.

  • Empathize without judgement!

© 2018 University of St. Gallen / ITMP