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Build a deeper understanding of your customers with empathy maps


The ‘Empathy Map’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.


The empathy map builds a deeper understanding of audiences, including their behaviours, motivations and how they interpret the world around them. It is a chance for you to imagine how others might experience a situation.

Understand audiences better


The aim of the exercise is to gain a deeper level of understanding of people within a specific context, such as a buying decision or an experience using a product or service.


You can download the worksheet below.

Empathy map canvas
Empathy map canvas

You should be able to make a rough empathy map in about 20 minutes, provided you have a decent understanding of the person and context you want to map. Even if you don’t, the empathy-mapping exercise can help you gain insights and identify gaps that need investigating further.

Person and goal:

Using the empathy map canvas, identify your target audience and what they need to do at the top of the page.

Sensory Experience:

Now, imagine that person’s experience and try to view the topic you want to explore through their senses and actions: see, hear, say & do.

Think and feel:

Try to write their thoughts as they would express them and delve into their emotions. The purpose is to truly understand and empathise with their situation.

Reflect and repeat:

Take a step back and consider how these insights could impact potential designs for a better product, service or experience.



The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.


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