Empathy Map

The more we truly understand our customers, the easier it is to create solutions that are both meaningful and valuable for them. Empathy maps are a great way to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and uncover the insights we need.

What It's Best For

  • Customer Development
  • Persona Writing

Time Required

  • 5-10 mins5-10 mins

Required Materials

  • Empathy Map Template
  • Sharpie or Pen
  • Digital Whiteboard (if Remote)


  • Remote or In-person

Ideal Group Size

  • AnyAny

How to use or facilitate:

  1. Download and print the provided Empathy Map template.
  2. Start by choosing a particular customer or audience. Write their name in the middle circle.
  3. Now pretend you are that customer or user. Aim to answer as many of the questions from their point of view as you can in each quadrant. Think beyond just their immediate role or function ? the more you understand them as a human, the richer the insights.
  4. Fill out as many empathy maps as necessary for your different users or audience types. You can even have multiple people fill out an empathy map for the same customer type to look for patterns in the responses or further round out your understanding.
  5. Best case scenario, you use a completed empathy map to formulate some hypothesis that about your customers and then interview them to validate or invalidate your thinking!


The Takeaway:

Empathy is the single greatest thing we can employ when it comes to innovation and developing solutions to meet the need of real people. With a completed empathy map, you can:

  • Use it as a starting point to begin generating ideas or solutions. (What pains can we alleviate? What gains can we deliver? What thoughts or needs can we solve for?)
  • Navigate tough conversations by having a deeper understanding of someone’s preconceived thoughts, motivations, challenges, or desires.
  • Test your understanding with real customers or other customer types.

Empathy Maps out in the wild.

Need help facilitating your Empathy Map?

Book a 1:1 coaching session or group workshop with our team of innovation catalysts.

Book a Consult

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