What is an Empathy Map?
Developed by Dave Gray, Empathy Mapping is a visualizing tool designed to
gain a deeper understanding of a target group. This tool is compromised by a
series of steps that all together help a team identify valuable insights into
their customers such as needs, wants, motivations, feelings, thoughts and
Why use an Empathy Map?
Empathy Mapping may be used in different business scenarios, such as:
- To assess and compare past and
current user behavior
- To gain more detailed insights
on your customers before a particular business decision is taken.
- To elaborate on customer’s
- To align particular products
or services to the needs of your target consumers.
- To understand why you might be
losing some users over competitors.
Step 1: Set your scope and establish your goals
The first step to Empathy Mapping is to decide on your subject, your scope
and your goals.
- Think about who you want to
understand. This is the customer you are trying to emphasize with – it could be
an individual or a group of customers that share some common characteristics.
- Consider what you want to
achieve. Are you trying to find an answer to a particular business question or
are you trying to gain a deeper understanding of your target group?
Step 2: Collect Data
The next step is to start collecting your data. You might pursue data
through a single or a combination of sources, such as:
- Qualitative Interviews
Step 3: Fill the Map
Start filling out each section of the empathy map:
- What do they SEE?
- What do they see in their
- What do they see in the
- What do they see others doing
in their daily experience?
- What are they exposed to in
their everyday life?
- What do they DO and SAY?
- What can we imaging them
- What do they HEAR?
- What are they hearing from
others, including colleagues, friends, and acquaintances?
- What are their personal
connections (e.g. family, friends, coworkers)?
- What do they hear from media,
social media influencers, bloggers, etc?
- What do they THINK and FEEL?
- PAINS: What are their fears,
frustrations and anxieties?
- GAINS: What are their needs,
hopes and aspirations?
- What else are they thinking
Step 4: Reflect, Discuss and Summarize
Now review what you have put together. Think about the process that took
you to the end. Have you changed your perspective on how you view your
subjects? Has it produced any new insights on your target group? Discuss
together with your team. Now write down everything remarkable and collaboratively
organize your thoughts.
What are the benefits of Empathy Mapping?
- Fast and inexpensive tool
- Easily customizable according
to available information and goals.
- Understand target customers
- Identify key insights and
adjust business strategy accordingly.
- Intimate way of knowing your
- Practice empathy thinking with
your team to enhance teamwork and collaborative thinking.