Empathy Map

Empathy Map is a visual tool to capture and share insights on users' emotions, helping researchers and designers understand their feelings and experiences.

About

An Empathy Map is a collaborative tool used to gain deeper insights into a target audience's needs, feelings, thoughts, and pain points. It's divided into sections representing what the user says, thinks, does, and feels. By focusing on empathy, it helps teams align on user understanding and fosters user-centered thinking. Empathy Maps are essential in design thinking, user experience design, and product development, where they guide persona development, problem-solving, and design ideation.

Suitable for

  • quickly representing and sharing empathy research results,
  • understanding the feelings and experiences of people,
  • summarizing the basis for creating personas.

Deliverables

Empathy Map Canvas

A visual representation of the target user's thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and values. The canvas is divided into sections such as 'Think & Feel', 'Hear', 'See', 'Say & Do', and 'Pains & Gains' to facilitate understanding and uncover insights about the user's experiences.


User Persona

A detailed description of a fictional character that represents a specific group of users. The persona includes demographic information, goals, motivators, frustrations, and other relevant factors that help humanize the target user and foster empathy.


User Journey Map

A visualization of the user's experience across different touchpoints and stages of interaction with a product/service. It highlights the emotions, needs, actions, and pain points throughout the user's journey from awareness to advocacy.


Insights and Opportunities

A summarized list of key findings and areas for improvement or innovation that emerge from the empathy mapping process. These are based on the patterns and themes identified in the user's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.


Empathy Map Report

A comprehensive document that details the empathy mapping process, user research findings, insights, and recommendations for improving the user experience. The report communicates the value of empathy mapping as a design tool to stakeholders and team members.


User Scenarios and Use Cases

A collection of narrative descriptions, user flows, and sketches that illustrate how the user would interact with the product/service in specific situations. Scenarios and use cases help contextualize the user's needs, pain points, and motivations within real-world settings.

Procedure

1

Assemble Your Team

Gather a diverse group of stakeholders, including designers, product managers, marketers, and any other individuals involved in creating or understanding the user experience. The team's goal should be to gain a deeper understanding of the users' thoughts, feelings, and actions.

2

Define Your User Persona

Identify the main target user or users for which the empathy map will be created. Create a persona for each, detailing their needs, experiences, and backgrounds. This will help put the team in the users' shoes more effectively.

3

Identify Key Questions

Based on the user personas, develop a set of open-ended questions to guide the empathy mapping process. These questions should be aimed at understanding the users' emotions, thoughts, and actions, as well as their motivations, pain points, and goals.

4

Create the Empathy Map Canvas

Divide a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard into four quadrants, labeled 'Think & Feel', 'Hear', 'See', and 'Say & Do'. This will serve as the canvas for the team to brainstorm and organize insights about the user personas.

5

Brainstorm and Populate the Quadrants

As a team, brainstorm responses to the key questions and record them on sticky notes or directly onto the empathy map canvas. Place the responses in the appropriate quadrants: 'Think & Feel' for thoughts and emotions, 'Hear' for what the user hears from others, 'See' for what the user sees in their environment, and 'Say & Do' for the user's words and actions.

6

Identify Patterns and Insights

Review the populated quadrants and look for patterns, themes, or outstanding insights. Discuss these observations as a team, focusing on how they relate to the user personas and the overall user experience.

7

Refine and Prioritize

After identifying patterns and insights, work together to refine the information and prioritize key takeaways. This will help the team better understand the most important aspects of the users' experiences.

8

Implement Learnings

Use the insights gained from the empathy map to inform UX decisions and improve the overall user experience. Consider incorporating empathy mapping into regular team meetings or as a continuous practice to maintain a deep understanding of user perspectives.

Support the project

Donate to UX Methods today. As the largest UX method database on the web, your contributions will help maintain our platform and drive exciting new features. Keep the resource free, up-to-date, and comprehensive for everyone. Make a difference in the UX community!