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.