Empathy Map

WHAT | WHY | HOW

WHAT IT IS: An empathy map is a collaborative tool for teams to use to gain a deeper insight into their users/customers. It guides the design researcher to ask questions and make assumptions about their target population (user/customer) in terms of four key quadrants:

(1) What is he seeing? (2) What is she hearing?

(3) What is he thinking and feeling? and, (4) What is she saying and doing? 

WHY USE IT: The map ultimately seeks to surface potential user-focused needs and wants, or pains and gains. 

An empathy map can represent a group of users, such as a customer segment and inform persona development.

HOW TO USE IT: Draw the empathy map on the whiteboard.

  • In teams, discuss a few target users or segments you seek to better understand (e.g. mother, doctor, student, etc.)

  • Select one target user to begin. Sketch them at the centre of the page or board - stick figures work well.

  • Individually, grab post-its and markers and begin generating assumptions about the intended user.

       Generate at least 3 assumptions for each section.

  • In teams, discuss and post your assumptions on the board.

  • Cluster into shared themes.

  • Question your assumptions and begin generating research questions and potential methods for your project.