An empathy map helps you identify with a customer’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Product teams often use empathy mapping to improve the user experience. In this article, learn how to build an empathy map and use it to improve your business strategy.
Have you heard the saying, “take a walk in my shoes?” That’s empathy in action. When you foster empathy, you visualize yourself living someone else’s life. This soft skill improves your understanding of how others navigate the world.
Empathy mapping is also useful to identify customer needs. By creating a detailed user persona and imagining yourself as that user, you can gain valuable insights about the customer experience. These insights can translate to product improvements and a stronger sales strategy.
What is an empathy map?
An empathy map is a tool that helps you discover how your target audience thinks, feels, and behaves so you can better understand their wants and needs. The map typically includes four quadrants: think and feel, say and do, see, and hear.
Before you can use this tool, you must first build a user persona or scenario to represent one of your target audiences. There are two main “methods” to persona creation. One is a persona description. For example, you might have the “confident shopper” or the “curious buyer.” This type of persona explains, in broad strokes, what motivates someone. It can help product, marketing, and sales teams understand their overall audience.
The second type of persona is a specific person, and this is the type you’ll use for your empathy map. This persona is a made up person that has a name, an age, likes, and dislikes. Putting a specific name, face, and age to a persona makes it easier to empathize with them.
When to use an empathy map
You can use empathy maps any time you want to learn more about your audience and gain perspective into how they think. Empathy maps are most helpful during product planning, but you can also use them to improve a product once you’ve created it.
Empathy maps also serve as a reflective tool for marketing campaigns or sales strategies. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking for gaps in your current strategy, an empathy map will offer guidance and support.
- Product teams to ensure they’re keeping the end user in mind during the design process.
- Marketing teams to improve business strategy by identifying customer pain points and desires.
- Design and developer teams to gain insight into user experience (UX) and user interface (UI)
Empathy mapping should be a group activity—you and your team members can brainstorm what the user experience may be like and streamline your ideas into the most accurate portrayal.
4 elements of an empathy map
An empathy map has four quadrants that work together to get you into the mind of your end user. In addition to those four quadrants, you’ll also describe your persona’s pains and gains—or customer needs and expectations. The pains and gains will serve as a guide, while the remaining four elements help you explore a customer’s life from their point of view.
Pains: What are the pain points in the user’s life? What are their needs?
Gains: What are the user’s expectations for meeting their needs?
- Think and feel: What are the user’s major worries and aspirations? What are their values? What preoccupies their mind?
- Hear: Who are the user’s main influences in their life?
- See: What does the user see in their environment that influences them?
- Say and do: What does the user say and do to meet their needs?
To make filling out your empathy map easier, pair it with a user persona. That way, you know who your customer is before assessing what their life may look like. Remember that in order for your empathy map to be effective, you need to pair it with a user persona that describes a fictional individual. If you don’t already have a customer persona in mind, briefly describe the persona above the empathy map.
How to build an empathy map
Your company likely has more than one customer persona. To understand them all, create separate empathy maps for each persona. Use the steps below to build an empathy map, then incorporate the process into your workflow so team members can repeat it as needed….Read more
By: Team Asana
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