The Empathy Map is both a framework and a technique, and it’s typically developed collaboratively by a diverse team by placing sticky notes on a wall.
Developing a deeper understanding of your customers by understanding:
· Who they are in their world
· Where they spend their time
· Who their friends are
· Whose opinions influence them
· What they SAY their deepest aspirations and beliefs are
· What feelings and beliefs ACTUALLY guide their behaviour
Identify needs: “Needs” are human emotional or physical necessities. 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 realisation 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 behaviour. Write down potential insights on the side of your Empathy Map.
How to use a customer empathy map
First, brainstorm to come up with all the possible customer segments that you might want to serve using your business model. Choose three promising candidates, and select one for your first profiling exercise.
Start by giving this customer a name and some demographics characteristics, such as income, marital status and so forth. Then, referring to the diagram above, use a flipchart or whiteboard to build a profile for your newly-named customer by asking and answering the following six questions:
What does she see? – describe what the customer sees in her environment
- What does it look like?
- What surrounds her?
- Who are her friends?
- What types of offers is she exposed to daily (as opposed to all market offers?)
- What problems does she encounter?
What does she hear? – describe how the environment influences the customer
- What do her friends say? Her spouse?
- Who really influences her, and how?
- Which media channels are influential?
What does she really think and feel? – try to sketch out what goes on in your customer’s mind
- What is really important to her (which she might not say publicly)?
- Imagine her emotions. What moves her?
- What might keep her up at night?
- Try describing her dreams and aspirations.
What does she say and do? – imagine what the customer might say, or how she might behave in public
- What is her attitude?
- What could she be telling others?
- Pay particular attention to potential conflicts between what a customer might say and what she may truly think or feel
What is the customer’s pain?
- What are her biggest frustrations?
- What obstacles stand between her and what she wants or needs to achieve?
- Which risks might she fear taking?
What does the customer gain?
- What does she truly want or need to achieve?
- How does she measure success?
- Think of some strategies she might use to achieve her goals.
Note that thoughts/beliefs and feelings/emotions cannot be observed directly. They must be inferred by paying careful attention to various clues. Pay attention to body language, tone, and choice of words.