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What is Empathy Map?

An empathy map is a collaborative tool used in design thinking to step into the shoes of your target audience. It visually organises insights from user research to build a comprehensive understanding of their thoughts, feelings, needs, and behaviours. Imagine a four-quadrant square with the user in the centre.

Each quadrant focuses on a different aspect of the user’s experience.  “Says/Thinks” captures their verbal and internal thoughts through quotes and observations. “Feels/Feels” explores their emotions and reactions to situations. “Does/Acts” documents their observable behaviours. Finally, “Pain Points/Needs” identifies their challenges, desires, and underlying motivations. By populating these sections with user research data, the team gains a holistic perspective, allowing them to design products, services, or experiences that truly resonate with the user.

What is an example use of Empathy Map?

This tool is useful when you are gathering ‘data’ about a problem or area you want to work on. It is a systematic way of understanding the views of different stakeholders in a situation. This information can then be used to inform a better understanding of the problem or situation and feed into a design thinking or problem solving process.

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