Get your first home with a UX deposit

4 min readMay 7, 2019


Solving high-value problems can give you more problems than the original. Big problems tend to be harder to solve because of the nature of breaking it down into subtasks can sometimes throw a team. Or simply put, people don’t always know how to do it successfully.

The big problem to solve:
Imagine your goal is to buy your first home. That requires a substantial deposit, something most millennials struggle with, being able to accrue the right amount and at the right time can be really difficult and has become a blocker.

But what might happen if we looked at the problem to solve differently?

A critical part of the UX problem-solving process requires empathy. The ability to understand your users' needs, desires, motivations and goals have to come from a deeper level of understanding and observing via user research and strategic thinking. This type of data or evidence collection should start at the beggining of a project and regularly practiced to capture new reflections and learn as much as possible.

There are three types of empathy, that’s only a few considering how complex human beings are:

  1. COGNITIVE EMPATHY. This is an awareness that comes with understanding another person's perspective. UX practitioners try to be at “one” with this type in all projects. Hence we try to walk a mile in your shoes.
  2. SOCIAL EMPATHY. This is having a sensitivity or appreciation about what another person is ‘feeling’. This is a key player in services that intend to foster or create chemistry. e.g dating apps that pre suggest questions to ask your match that indicates you are paying full attention to the ‘details’.
  3. EMPATHIC CONCERN. This is a very natural and deeply bonded type. Think of the parent who is there for their child come hell or high water, this is an unconditional feeling/behaviour born out of unconditional love.
Photo by Eneida Hoti on Unsplash

Now if I were to pick the first two and commit to these types: Cognitive & Social empathy. Could I think beyond saving for a deposit to reach my goal by stretching my view on the blocker? i.e the blocker is really an opportunity if I can solve something for someone else using empathy.

Here is my big idea for an empathy-driven trend that packs opportunity!

K Pop is a growing phenomenon in the West. Blackpink is the first K Pop group that has performed at Coachella 2019. For an event that is typically akin to western music tastes, this group are part of an Asian influencer trend in music that is blowing it up.
BTS sell out their exclusive merchandise in minutes. They leak URLs via social media and stuff literally vanishes. The ultra-styled boyband also has a significant retail impact on what they wear, i.e the following day online AND offline stores sell out. They have almost 20M followers on Twitter.

Since 1995 the ratio of English to Korean lyrics is rising in small, but upwards figures. The addition of English lyrics is making it easier and more accessible for fans in the West to sing along and soak up those vibes and engage.

Now that we know K Pop is a fierce trend that is consistently rising and making waves from the East to the West. Let's ask what kind of potential problems could we solve for users?

An app algorithm that finds you the cheapest/ready to purchase tickets available for K Pop concerts in Europe. This takes the time consuming ‘search’ efforts away from the user and gives them a higher chance of actually securing tickets when we know this stuff sells out lightning fast. The USP could be a feature that allows you to ‘Air BnB’ your spare room or even share a bedroom so a fan travelling from e.g. Asia can stay at validated, fellow K Pop fans home in Europe. Using Google Translate to facilitate a chat UI so you can both ask/answer questions. Who knows maybe you could go to the gig together ; )

This solution is driven by the cognitive empathic angle. It’s helped to find an opportunity in a promising market that users may struggle with. The app itself also covers social empathy — the ‘matching’ is all in the shared love of K Pop and the details that would bring fans together.

The proof would be in the results, but here’s an ambitious thought — could utilising empathy in a digital landscape help you to get closer to your own dreams?
This is just an idea I’ve come up with by looking into trends, but what could you apply yours to? Here’s a tip — empathy realised is always valuable.




I design experiences and interfaces for a living. I believe that life can always be more simple.