Empathy Prompts

Prompts to consider when making things for others to use.

This project is geared towards anyone involved with making digital products. It is my hope that this reaches both:

  • People who are not necessarily involved in the day-to-day part of the process, but who help shape things like budget, timeline, and scope, and
  • People who work every day to help to give these products shape and form

These prompts are intended to help build empathy, not describe any one person's experience. These prompts are not intended to tokenize the experience of the individuals experiencing these conditions. For further reading about disability simulations, please refer to Job van Achterberg's excellent presentation, The Imitation Game.

Table of Contents

  1. About this page
  2. Contributing
    1. Suggest a prompt
    2. Language and terminology concerns
    3. Issues and Pull Requests
  3. Additional resources
    1. Prompt formats
    2. Links
  4. Resetting technology
    1. Brightness
    2. Dyslexia simulator bookmarklet
    3. High Contrast Mode
    4. NoCoffee Chrome Extension
    5. Screen magnifiers
    6. Screen readers
    7. Zoomed Browser
  5. Thanks
  6. License

About this page

You're on GitHub, a service that helps people build digital things. Projects are called "repositories", or "repos" for short. Repositories are collections of files managed by Git, software that helps people code and collaborate.

One file in this repo is called a Readme, which helps helps describe what the project is, why it was made, and how you can help out with it. GitHub takes the Readme for every repo and displays it on the repo's homepage for easier discovery.

To return to the prompt you were viewing, use your browser's back button.


If you do not have a GitHub account, you can contact me via email. Please remember that requests submitted via email also need to conform to the project's contributing guidelines.

Suggest a prompt

To suggest a prompt, please submit a GitHub Issue and follow the Issue template's instructions.

Please remember to:

  • Keep the title, description, and examples brief
  • Use simple, direct language
  • Use as little jargon as possible
  • Provide links to resources

Prompts will be considered and added on a case-by-case basis. Questions and feedback will be handled in the submitted Issue.

Language and terminology concerns

I'm striving to be as respectful as possible. If you feel the words or tone for one of the prompts isn't using the proper terminology, or isn't representative of the condition, please let me know either publicly or privately.

Issues and Pull Requests

The best way to submit Issues (problems with the project) and Pull Requests (adding features to the project, fixing problems, or improving project code) is using this project's Issue tracker. Please make sure you read the contributing guidelines before doing so!

Additional resources

Prompt formats


Resetting technology

Instructions on how to reset any of the technology a prompt makes you install:



  • Use the brightness keys (F1 and F2) to restore brightness to a level you find comfortable, or
  • Go to System Preferences > Displays, and drag the brightness slider to a level you find comfortable


  • Select Start > Settings > System > Display, then drag the brightness slider to a level you find comfortable

Dyslexia simulator bookmarklet

  • Right click on the bookmarklet on your browser's bookmarks bar and choose the Delete option
  • You may also have to refresh the page

High Contrast Mode


  • Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, then drag the slider for Display contrast to Normal


  • Use the Left ALT + Left Shift + Print Screen keyboard shortcut

Low Bandwidth

  • Close the Chrome Developer Tools
  • You may also have to refresh the page

NoCoffee Chrome Extension

  • To disable:
    1. Click on the extension's icon
    2. Choose the Reset all button
    3. You may also have to refresh the page
  • To remove:
    1. Open Chrome's Preferences
    2. On the sidebar, select Extensions
    3. Find the NoCoffee extension and either uncheck Enabled to disable the extension, or select the trash can icon to delete it
    4. You may also have to refresh the page

Screen magnifiers


  • Use either the keyboard shortcut (CMD+OPT -) or the mouse command (CMD + Scroll Down) until the screen stops shrinking


  • Quit the magnifier program by pressing either WIN + ESC or select the magnifying glass icon and then select the Close button on the Magnifier toolbar.

Screen readers

NVDA (Windows)

  • You can quit NVDA like any other Windows program, or
  • Use NVDA's keyboard shortcut: INSERT + Q

VoiceOver (Mac)

  • Use the CMD + F5 keyboard shortcut, or
  • Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > VoiceOver, then uncheck Enable VoiceOver

Zoomed Browser


  • Use the CMD + 0 keyboard shortcut to restore zoom to 100%


  • Use the CTRL + 0 keyboard shortcut to restore zoom to 100%



MIT License.