Empathy Map

A simple diagram that provides a high level but detailed look at a specific user within a specific context. Often includes: thoughts, feelings, doing, context, pain points, and goals. Also sometimes includes: what they’re hearing and saying.

When to Use

  1. To ground the solution requirements around the user and there isn’t time for a detailed journey map.
  2. To create a basic proto-persona and leverage to reinforce design thinking around a real user.
  3. Use as a team exercise to establish all the different assumptions that each have.


  1. Determine if the empathy map will broadly describe a user type or detail a specific contextual moment around a specific task/goal.
    1. Specific empathy maps are more powerful and practical for product design.
  2. Start by describing the general information about the user. Include user type, demographic information, product usage data, etc…
  3. Complete all the remaining sections with how the user behaves to accomplish their goals within their current context.
  4. Document that user’s goals either broad product goals or specific feature/function goals. Focus on goals not connected to tasks inside the product but jobs in that drive the user to use your product.


  1. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/empathy-mapping/
  2. https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/the-practical-guide-to-empathy-maps-creating-a-10-minute-persona/
  3. https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook/plays/empathy-mapping

Templates (if applicable)

  1. Printout

Created by: Joe Steinkamp | Last updated by: Joe Steinkamp