Empathy Mapping

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Good design is grounded in a deep understanding of the person for whom you are designing. Designers have many techniques for developing this sort of empathy. An Empathy Map is one tool to help us synthesise our observations and draw out unexpected insights.
It’s used as a synthesis tool to help quickly uncover latent user needs. By introducing this synthesis tool and others, golden nuggets of opportunity arise.

IDENTIFY NEEDS: “Needs” are human emotional or physical necessities and desires. Needs help define your design challenge.Remember: Needs are verbs (activities and desires with which your user could use help), not nouns (solutions). Identify needs directly out of the user traits you noted, or from contradictions between two traits – such as a disconnect between what she says and what she does. Write down needs on the side of your Empathy Map.

IDENTIFY INSIGHTS: An “Insight” is a remarkable realization that you could leverage to better respond to a design challenge.Insights often grow from contradictions between two user attributes (either within a quadrant or from two different quadrants) or from asking yourself “Why?” when you notice strange behavior. Write down potential insights on the side of your Empathy Map.

What you should know after completing this

  • The thoughts and feelings of the user you are dealing with
  • The needs and pain points of both the use and the business and the user