Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking
The first step in design thinking is empathy mapping. A visual empathy map is a good way to start user research because it’s easy to understand and digest. When designing a product or service, it’s important to understand how your target audience is completely unaware of what users feel or how they think. The goal is to generate ideas that address those needs, want, and desires. The purpose of the exercise is to put the user at the center of the participants’ minds.
Customer-focused explorations have garnered more attention as companies seek new ways to connect with customers and improve their experiences with products or services. Empathy maps are one tool among many that can help designers explore how customers think about a product or service.
How Empathy Mapping helps your UX teams?
Empathy maps help UX teams or designers align on a deep understanding of end-users. This helps us understand what our users think and feel about the product we are building. Empathy maps are used to gain a 360-degree perspective on what a user says, thinks, feels, and does. We can use them for both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The data from these empathy maps help us identify patterns in our research findings that we can use to create personas and user stories that will guide our design decisions throughout the project lifecycle.
The maps can also be used throughout the design process and revised as new data becomes available. The process involves breaking down empathy maps into four quadrants:
- Say (what they say),
- Think (what they think),
- Feel (what they feel), and
- Do (how they do it).
Each quadrant represents one aspect of human behavior, so it’s called empathic mapping.
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The Four Quadrants in Empathy Mapping — Explained Simple!
Say: It has verbatim and direct statements.
Think: Consider what clients think and struggle to express themselves.
Feel: The consumer’s emotional state.
Do: focuses on the actions that clients take.
We can use them in different contexts, which include:
Research: when researching existing products or services by interviewing customers and stakeholders
Design: During the design process, identify pain points, find areas where improvement is needed, and prioritize features
Planning: During planning sessions as part of strategy development or project management.
Observing: Observation helps us understand how people behave in different situations, so we have to observe them closely and note their behavior patterns and habits.
Questioning: Asking questions that help you understand what users think and feel about your product or service.
Emotional Design in Mobile Applications
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Authored by: Krishna Teja