Empathy maps are effective in shifting a business toward customer-centric perspectives. They help companies interpret research data, revealing customer pain points and aspirations.
Set up a big square on a collaborative space, whiteboard or flip chart with four quadrants labeled Says, Thinks, Does and Feels. Collect information from user interviews, observations and other research.
1. Ask Questions
When you ask questions, it shows that you’re genuinely interested in learning about the other person. People respond positively to this because they know you’re not judging them or trying to sell them something. This makes the other person feel comfortable and can help build a strong connection.
Empathy mapping is a design tool that can help you learn more about your users. It helps you create a more personalized understanding of your customer’s needs and wants, which can ultimately lead to better products. It involves a set of four quadrants, Says, Thinks, Does and Feels, which capture different aspects of your user’s experience with the product.
Start by identifying the persona you want to analyze in the center of your empathy map. Then, fill in the categories in each of the four quadrants based on your research. The result is a visual representation of your user’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Be sure to update your empathy maps as you conduct additional research and interviews with your users.
Empathy maps are a powerful tool that can be used throughout the entire product development process. They can serve as a way to fact-check user assumptions and provide a reference point for discussions around design decisions, metric definitions (OKRs, KPIs, leading and lagging indicators).
When crafted through real data, empathy maps are a great substitute for traditional user personas. However, they are best built at the early stages of a project so that teams can use them to guide their understanding of the users’ needs and expectations.
To create an empathy map, start with a blank canvas and divide it into four quadrants: See, Hear, Say, Do. Then, fill in each quadrant with the relevant user feedback. Make sure to include a variety of comments from a range of people to ensure a well-rounded interpretation of your users. Use a collaborative whiteboard tool like Mural or an online tool (like Fresco) to make it easier for participants to share their thoughts and observations.
3. Ask for Feedback
The “thinks” section of an empathy map is a great place to glean things your customers won’t vocalize directly. Qualitative research, such as user interviews, can help fuel this section of the map and ensure the map includes a full picture of the user experience.
Before starting mapping, make sure everyone on your team reads and digests the relevant research. Then, use sticky notes or a cloud-based tool to allow them to add their thoughts to each of the four quadrants of your empathy map. It’s important to note that empathy maps are not meant to be complete, as new input is always welcome.
Empathy mapping is a useful UX technique that can help your teams move away from their biases and toward a more customer-centric perspective. When used properly, it can also save time and gather insights that may have otherwise been missed. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of using empathy maps as a substitute for an organizational mindshift.
An empathy map is a powerful tool that allows designers to uncover the complexities of their users. The information collected can be used to determine what the user wants and needs from a product or service, and it helps in the decision-making process during design.
Creating an empathy map is a collaborative process, so it’s important to get all stakeholders involved. It’s also best to invite people from various departments so that there are a variety of viewpoints.
Using an experience diagramming method like this one can help businesses shift away from their own perspective and toward a customer-centric strategy. This means designing products and services that better fulfill the needs of customers and improving the overall customer experience. It can also be helpful in identifying potential pain points and identifying areas for improvement. Empathy maps can be an excellent way to organize feedback and synthesize data from qualitative research, such as user interviews, diary studies and observational research.