Innovation Guide
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DEFINE PHASE

EMPATHY MAP

Empathy is the foundation of the design process. This requires you to gain a deep understanding of your target user context, complexities and start to solve problems from their perspectives. To empathise we:
Observe: View users and their behaviours in the context of their lives.
Engage: Interact with and research users through both scheduled and short “intercept” encounters.
Immerse: Experience what your users experience.
Engaging with users directly reveals a tremendous amount about the way they think and the values they hold, which are sometimes not obvious to the people who hold them, themselves. A deep engagement can surprise both the designer and the user, by the unanticipated insights that are revealed. The stories that people tell and the things that say they do – even if they are different from what they actually do – are strong indicators of their deeply held beliefs about the way the world is.
Good designs are built on a solid understanding of those kinds of beliefs and values. An Empathy Map is the tool to help you synthesise your observations from across the various information gathering tools applied and draw out unexpected insights.
🗝️ STEPS
SAY
List some quotes, defining words your user said.
DO
List user actions and behaviour you notice.
THINK
List thoughts you 'infer' your user was thinking (body language, tone, choice of words).
FEEL
List emotions you ‘infer’ your user was feeling (body language, tone, choice of words).
“NEEDS” are human emotional or physical necessities.
They are verbs (activities and desires which your user could use help with), not nouns (solutions). The stories that people tell and the things that people say they do, even if they are different from what they actually do, are strong indicators of their deeply held beliefs about the way the world is. They could derive from contradictions between two quadrants.
An “INSIGHT” is a remarkable realisation that you could leverage to better respond to a design challenge.
After plotting the user stories, their words, actions and feelings, start with asking yourself, “Why?” users do/behave in the way seen, the answer is the insight. One way to identify insights is to capture “tensions” and “contradictions” as you work. They could derive from contradictions within or between quadrants.
💯 TIPS
Thoughts(beliefs) and Feelings(emotions) cannot be directly observed. They must be “inferred” by paying careful attention to various clues such as, body language, tone, choice of words.
Identify Needs – “Needs” are human emotional or physical necessities. Remember, Needs are verbs (activities and desires which your user could use help with), not nouns (solutions).
Insights often appear from contradictions between two user attributes (either within or between two different quadrants) or from asking yourself “Why?” when you notice strange behavior. One way to identify insights is to capture “tensions” and “contradictions” as you work.
📖 HEALTHPLATES CASE
EMPATHY MAP.png

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