Emotional Map

An analytical method used to visualize user emotions during their journey with a service, capturing the emotions of users during the service journey and understanding the decision-making of users.


An Emotional Map is a visual tool that captures users' emotional experiences throughout their interaction with a product or service. By charting emotions across various touchpoints, it provides insights into moments of delight, frustration, confusion, or satisfaction. Emotional Maps are valuable in user experience design, customer journey mapping, and service design, where understanding emotional dynamics can guide empathetic and user-centered solutions. They help in identifying opportunities to enhance emotional connections and create memorable experiences.

Suitable for

  • capturing the emotions of users during the service journey
  • understanding the decision-making of users (why, for example, they uninstall an application)
  • visualization of user emotions


Emotional Map Template

A visual template with a clear structure to plot user emotions throughout different touchpoints of the user journey, allowing researchers to identify patterns and trends in emotional experiences.

User Journey Stages

A list of distinct stages or touchpoints representing significant moments in the user journey, which will be used to plot emotional data on the Emotional Map.

Emotional Assessment Criteria

A set of predefined emotional categories or metrics, such as frustration, excitement, or anxiety, which will be used to evaluate users' emotional experiences at each stage of their journey.

User Interview Guide

A structured guide for conducting qualitative user interviews, with open-ended questions designed to elicit users' emotions and experiences at different stages of their journey.

User Interview Transcripts

Transcribed records of user interviews, detailing participants' comments and insights about their emotional experiences during the user journey, which are used as input data for the Emotional Map.

User Quotes Database

A collection of impactful and representative user quotes extracted from interview transcripts, organized by emotional category and user journey stage, which can contribute to the Emotional Map analysis.

Emotion Annotation Guide

A document explaining the procedure to annotate or code user interview data with appropriate emotional categories, which will be used to populate the Emotional Map.

Emotional Patterns Report

A summary report that identifies trends, patterns, and insights from the analysis of the Emotional Map, highlighting key opportunities and issues for UX improvement across the user journey.

User Personas

Profiles of representative users that illustrate distinct emotional patterns and experiences identified in the Emotional Map, helping stakeholders empathize with users and design for their needs.

Design Recommendations

A list of actionable UX recommendations derived from insights captured in the Emotional Map, aimed at improving users' emotional experiences and addressing critical pain points across the user journey.



Define Research Goals and Objectives

Before starting the emotional mapping process, it's crucial to establish the research goals and objectives clearly. This will help you determine what emotions and user experiences you want to explore throughout the study, such as improving a user's connection with a brand or product.


Select Participants

Identify your target audience, its demographic and psychographic characteristics, and the number of participants you wish to involve in the emotional mapping process. Recruit participants who are representative of your user demographic, and make sure they have relevant experience with the product or service being evaluated.


Prepare a Guiding Scenario

Design a realistic scenario or context that will guide participants through the user journey. It should provide instructions for using the product or service, any necessary background information, and set specific tasks for participants to perform.


Conduct In-Depth Interviews

Before starting the emotional mapping process, conduct in-depth interviews with the participants. During these interviews, gather information about their preferences, pain points, and emotions related to the user experience. This data will help create a baseline understanding of participants' emotional states and inform the later stages of the study.


Initiate the Emotional Mapping Process

Have your participants interact with the product or service according to the guiding scenario. You can either do this in real-time or have them recall a recent experience in which they used the product or service.


Capture Emotional Responses

During the user journey, ask participants to express their emotions at various touch points or interaction moments. They can use a variety of methods to capture their emotions, such as post-it notes, emojis, or specially designed emotion mapping templates. Encourage participants to be as specific and descriptive as possible.


Analyze the Data

Collect and analyze the emotional data gathered from the participants to identify patterns, discrepancies, and insights. Look for trends or recurring emotions that indicate significant pain points, areas of delight, or opportunities for improvement within the user experience.


Create a Visual Emotional Map

Visually represent the data collected in the previous step in the form of an emotional map. This can be a timeline, a spider web, or any type of graphic representation that clearly demonstrates the fluctuations in emotions and their relation to specific touch points within the user journey.


Share Findings and Iterate

Present your findings to stakeholders or team members, and share your insights into the emotional landscape of the user experience. Use this information to fuel discussions and brainstorming sessions on ways to improve the product or service, and make data-driven design decisions. Then, iteratively test the changes and keep refining the user journey as needed.

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