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Empathy map

/ˈɛmpəθi mæp/

Empathy map is a collaborative tool that helps you understand your users better by gaining a deeper insight into their needs and feelings that drive their decision making process when purchasing your product.

Empathy maps help agile and design teams sum up their learnings about their users. Each map consists of 4 quadrants divided into:

  • Says
  • Thinks
  • Does 
  • Feels

and are not chronological or sequential, but provide information about the user as a whole. 

It is important to note that empathy maps should not be confused with buyer personas and are not their replacement, but a way to visualize all that we know about a persona in an empathetic and organized way.

The process of building an empathy map includes defining the scope and goals, gathering all the necessary materials, conducting research and gathering information from user interviews and different surveys, digesting data and filling out sticky notes for every quadrant, systematizing data and finally digitizing the findings.

To summarize, empathy maps help us build empathy with our end users, remove bias and create shared understanding of the user, understand users’ needs and what drives their behaviour, as well as lead us towards innovation.