Empathy mapping canvas

Empathy mapping canvas is a strategic tool to discover the needs of your customer.

Empathy mapping canvas

The empathy mapping canvas is a tool to use during the collaborative process your organization experiences which creates the conditions to discover qualitative insights about your customer’s latent pain points. An empathy mapping canvas is generally the tool you’d use when beginning to search for your value proposition.

During the early mornings, I sketch while drinking my morning coffee. The empathy map canvas you see below was during one of my morning sketch sessions at Starbucks…

empathy map canvas

Empathy mapping is one of the exercises that take place during the early stages of the product design process. I find when I try to dive straight into creating personas it causes a lot of drama and anxiety within the organization. On the same note, IBM calls empathy mapping, the “quick and dirty personas”.

Many organizations, young and old, tend to steer away from defining their target market. In some cases, businesses survived through the referral network they developed. Unfortunately, organizations who rely exclusively on those methods are seeing year over year declines in revenue.

I wanted to share this quick sketch of an empathy map so you have it saved on your machine. I keep the framework easy to access so I don’t have an excuse when it’s time to utilize it. It’s big enough to print as a poster – maybe put it up in your conference room one morning, order breakfast for the team, and have an awesome session rocking it out.

empathy map

Empathy Mapping Canvas [POSTER SIZE]

Empathy mapping lets us know what to build

During the early stages of a user experience, or perhaps we should say customer experience, overhaul it is the most critical time for the product. The actions taken by the group will determine the life of the product, the value of the product, and whether it is being built to solve a problem for your user or simply to satisfy the subjective ego that is forcing the project to happen in a certain way.

How can you tell if you are in need of an empathy mapping exercise? I hear the following lines often:

“Our users aren’t engaging with our product.”

“I’m not convinced that our users even use the internet to solve the problem we’re solving for them.”

“We don’t even need to re-engage them because when we’re ready to give them what we have they will be there waiting for the opportunity.”

If you have ever said anything remotely close to the above lines, I beg of you…

You are hallucinating yourself right out of business

I have seen the inside of organizations and I know it can feel like there is no turning back. You have always done it the same way and change is hard. You are not alone, though. The ambiguous feeling you are experiencing is what friction feels like as you get closer to the edge of your comfort zone.

The real power is watching someone take a leap into the world, and say, “Here I am. This is what I know. This is how I feel. Love me for who I am, or leave me for who I am not.”

Here’s a more in-depth walkthrough of empathy mapping incase you want to run your own empathy mapping workshop on-site or with your team anywhere in the world – right now.