Empathy MapEmpathy Map

Empathy Map Template

Visualize your users' needs to develop better products and services.

About the Empathy Map template

What is an empathy map?

Empathy maps are visualization tools that allow you to articulate what you know about specific types of users. They are often considered a part of the design thinking methodology, and they empower you to create a shared understanding of user needs and help decision-makers with key judgement calls.

UX professionals have a difficult task. They must create products beneficial to users they have never met or interacted with. To do so, it’s important to understand their users and help their colleagues do the same. An empathy map is a powerful tool that helps you do both.

Benefits of empathy mapping

Many businesses employ empathy mapping as part of the design process because it’s helpful in understanding your users, their desires, and what they want out of your product. 

Put a narrative to your data

The basis of empathy mapping is typically some firsthand data received from users that describe their thoughts on using the product. One of the major benefits of empathy mapping is that it requires you to tease out more about the customer from this data, determine what they’re feeling, and create a narrative that informs the rest of your UX & UI design. 

Get inside the heads of your users

Empathy maps are also a useful exercise because they force you to put yourself in the shoes of your users and determine how they approach and interact with your product. It’s easy for designers to lose sight of real-world user experience with the product, so empathy maps help keep you grounded. 

Easily visualize customer needs 

Another benefit of empathy mapping is that it’s a visual exercise that distills various pieces of information about the customer experience into a single reference point. Empathy maps can be used and referenced by different stakeholders and team members at various points of the development cycle, and they’re relatively simple to create.

When to use an empathy map

Empathy maps are highly useful whenever your team needs a greater understanding of user needs, such as collaborating on user personas, and building the “user” in your user story.

Empathy maps help you sketch out profiles for a user or persona. They distill your knowledge into a single source of truth. An empathy map can help you summarize and analyze qualitative research such as survey responses and interview transcripts. By putting this information on a single page, you can uncover gaps in your knowledge and figure out how to fill them. Empathy maps are easy-to-use and digestible methods to illustrate user attitudes and behaviors.

The 4 elements of an empathy map

Empathy maps are divided up into four quadrants.

1. Says

The Says quadrant records what a user says during an interview. Try to capture exact quotes, such as, “I use this product every day because it helps me streamline my workflow.”

2. Thinks

In contrast, the Thinks quadrant summarizes what the user is thinking throughout the experience. Based on your qualitative research, ask yourself what occupies the user’s thoughts, what matters to them, and what challenges they’re facing. The key here is to uncover the things they might be too shy or reluctant to share. For example, “This feature is really irritating.”

3. Does

Like the name implies, the Does quadrant captures the actions the user takes. For example, if you’re watching a user interact with a product, you could record the following: “Keeps refreshing the page.”

4. Feels

The Feels quadrant records user emotions. What worries them? What excites them? For example, “The user is excited about the price point. The user is worried that this is too hard to use.”

Create your own 

Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share your empathy map. Get started by selecting this Empathy Map template. Then divide the map into the four quadrants discussed above and brainstorm different points to add to each section via sticky notes based on the initial customer statement.

FAQs about empathy mapping

Why are empathy maps important?

Empathy maps are important because they give designers an avenue into the mind of the customer and help them empathize with their experience, desires, and needs. They’re also useful for taking insights you gain from user research, digging deeper, and applying them to find concrete solutions.

How do you use persona empathy mapping?

To create an empathy map, start with a direct statement from a customer gleaned from user interviews or direct feedback. From there, you create a constellation of thoughts, feelings, and actions that underly the customer’s statement and help you understand why they made the statement and what their underlying motivations are.

Empathy Map Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

Related Templates
Work Breakdown ThumbnailWork Breakdown Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown is a project management tool that lays out everything you must accomplish to complete a project. It organizes these tasks into multiple levels and displays each element graphically. Creating a work breakdown is a deliverable-based approach, meaning you’ll end up with a detailed project plan of the deliverables you must create to finish the job. Create a Work Breakdown Structure when you need to deconstruct your team's work into smaller, well-defined elements to make it more manageable.

Work Breakdown Structure
UML Diagram ThumbnailUML Diagram Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

UML Diagram

Originally used as a modeling language in software engineering, UML has become a popular approach to application structures and documenting software. UML stands for Unified Modeling Language, and you can use it to model business processes and workflows. Like flowcharts, UML diagrams can provide your organization with a standardized method of mapping out step-by-step processes. They allow your team to easily view the relationships between systems and tasks. UML diagrams are an effective tool that can help you bring new employees up to speed, create documentation, organize your workplace and team, and streamline your projects.

UML Diagram
Project Charter ThumbnailProject Charter Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Project Charter

Project managers rely on project charters as a source of truth for the details of a project. Project charters explain the core objectives, scope, team members and more involved in a project. For an organized project management, charters can be useful to align everyone around a shared understanding of the objectives, strategies and deliverables for a project of any scope. This template ensures that you document all aspects of a project so all stakeholders are informed and on the same page. Always know where your project is going, its purpose, and its scope.

Project Charter
devops-roadmap-thumb-webdevops-roadmap-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

DevOps Roadmap

DevOps teams are constantly creating code, iterating, and pushing it live. Against this backdrop of continuous development, it can be hard to stay abreast of your projects. Use this DevOps Roadmap template to get a granular view of the product development process and how it fits into your organization's product strategy. The DevOps Roadmap lays out the development and operations initiatives you have planned in the short term, including milestones and dependencies. This easy-to-use format is easily digestible for audiences such as product, development, and IT ops.

DevOps Roadmap
Service Blueprint ThumbnailService Blueprint Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Service Blueprint

First introduced by G. Lynn Shostack in 1984, service blueprints allow you to visualize the steps that go into a service process from the customer’s perspective. Service blueprints are useful tools for understanding and designing a service experience – and finding ways to improve it. Service blueprint diagrams make it simpler for teams to design new processes or improve existing ones. To create a service blueprint, map out each process and actor that contributes to the customer experience, from in-house contributors to third-party vendors.

Service Blueprint
Decision Tree ThumbnailDecision Tree Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Decision Tree

Making difficult decisions gets easier when you can look clearly at your choices and visualize the outcomes. That’s just what a decision tree will help you do, empowering you to invest your time and money with confidence. A decision tree is a flowchart that looks just how you’d imagine—with “branches” that represent your available choices. It provides a stylized way to play out a series of decisions and see where they lead before you commit your real-world resources, which is especially valuable for startups and smaller companies.

Decision Tree