Did you know that users are more likely to choose, buy and use products that meet their needs as opposed to products that just meet their wants? An Empathy map will help you understand your user’s needs while you develop a deeper understanding of the persons you are designing for. There are many techniques you can use to develop this kind of empathy. An Empathy Map is just one tool that can help you empathise and synthesise your observations from the research phase, and draw out unexpected insights about your user’s needs.
An Empathy Map allows us to sum up our learning from engagements with people in the field of design research. The map provides four major areas in which to focus our attention on, thus providing an overview of a person’s experience. Empathy maps are also great as a background for the construction of the personas that you would often want to create later.
An Empathy Map consists of four quadrants. The four quadrants reflect four key traits, which the user demonstrated/possessed during the observation/research stage. The four quadrants refer to what the user: Said, Did, Thought, and Felt. It’s fairly easy to determine what the user said and did. However, determining what they thought and felt should be based on careful observations and analysis as to how they behaved and responded to certain activities, suggestions, conversations, etc.