Karin Ikavalko

Start with Empathy: Content Strategy and Design Thinking

Your brand’s voice is critical to building meaningful relationships with customers. It turns touchpoints into conversations and brings meaning to your products and services. At PayPal, we’ve been focusing on customer needs and emotion in a new approach to content design. Using empathy and design thinking, we created a repeatable and scalable methodology that brings voice and content strategy to the forefront of the design process and hits the mark with customers. Join us as we share how empathy can bring your brand’s voice to life, transform your customer experiences, and help you influence your teams.

This session will show you:

  • Why it’s critical to balance customer needs with business objectives and how you can lead the charge.
  • Ways to build empathy, connect with customers, and make content strategy a key part of your design process.
  • An actionable approach to developing your own methodology and influencing stakeholders.


People and their stories inspire me. I’m passionate about creating empowering and empathetic experiences – for real people, real lives – and the strategic thinking that helps us get there. For the past 14 years, I’ve been writing, editing, crafting style guides, evangelizing terminology, collaborating with design teams, and solving problems. Most recently at PayPal, I’ve been leading our consumer content design team, where I champion our voice, advocate for customer empathy, and write some of the engaging content you’ll see when you log in to your PayPal account.

Co-Presenting With

Catherine Walker