Project Description

Project Description


An empathy map shows you how individual users feel, think and talk about the experience of using your product.

What it is.

The empathy map is a diagram that categorizes an individual user’s feeling, thoughts and words about your product. It’s the beginning of a persona.

How it’s used.

UX researchers make empathy maps in order to collected and organize data about individual users. After they’ve got a few users’ experiences mapped out they can look for behavior patterns.

Empathy maps will eventually be aggregated and turned into personas.


Empathy maps are an easy way to start collecting data from users and stakeholders about the product you’re designing (or redesigning).

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Give your user(s) a piece of paper and a pen.
  2. Divide the paper into 4 quadrants
  3. Label the quadrants: Feeling, Seeing, Saying, Hearing
  4. Draw a little face int he middle if you want to look especially UX-y

Now ask your user(s) to write the things they feel, see, say and have heard said about your product.

Here’s an example of an empathy map:

They’ll need to either have played around with the application first, or you can have them fill in the form as they click through.

Or you can fill out the form for them, as they’re playing with the product, writing down what you hear them say, and asking them how they feel about it.

Once you’ve collected a few of these, you’ll start to see patterns. Everyone is annoyed by the on boarding flow, no one wants to put their credit card number into the app, most people don’t understand the navigation.

Now is when you’re seeing pain points you can fix. You’re also starting to see personas.


  • Understand when to use an empathy map

  • Learn to make empathy maps

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t get hung up on which quadrant something goes in, this is an art, not a science
  • Stakeholders can do this too
  • Capturing first feelings and experiences is best
  • There are a lot of versions of the empathy map form — use the one you like, or make your own!


Your Assignment

Make an empathy map (or 2 – 3) for the coffee shop experience

Think back to the coffee shop you conducted the design ethnography on. Write up an empathy map for your own experiences there. Then get 2 – 3 friends to go to the same coffee shop and write their own empathy maps.

  • Think about what annoyed you and what you liked
  • What feelings did you have (e.g. confusion, anticipation, delight, disappointment)
  • What did you hear other customers say?
  • Identify the pain points
  • Identify the delight


Create a pdf and share your empathy maps in the comments and/or on Dribbble and Twitter #100daysdesign.