The Basics of Empathy Mapping

What is an empathy map?

An empathy map is a tool that allows a UX designer to gain a deep insight of who their customers are. Similar to a persona, an empathy map can represent an entire group of users. An empathy map typically includes a few different sections:

  1. Think and Feel
  2. Hear
  3. See
  4. Say and Do
  5. Pains and Gains

Some of the questions that go along with these include: What would the user be thinking? What is the user doing while using the product? What are the consumer’s largest pain points?

These empathy maps are extremely helpful when you need to immerse yourself in the mind of a potential user.

When would I use it?

To the left is an example empathy map that we have done here at Codal. Here is why we, and you should be using this method:

Empathy mapping is a great way of organizing information after conducting user surveys, interviews, or focus groups.

They are very helpful when trying to elaborate on a persona, when you’re building out a typical user, when you’re exploring the user type in the business model, or when you are trying to capture behaviors with an interview.

Why should I use empathy maps?

Data does not mean anything if you don’t analyze it and utilize it for something further. When data is categorized in this type of way, you may find patterns emerge that you wouldn’t expect.

The more patterns and themes that you come across in your data, the better your results become. Patterns and themes not only create a simple result, but a valuable result that turns into something actionable.