You will need

empathy map template, data about users, markers, post-its


1–2 hours


3–4 colleagues


1 – easy and entertaining technique

Use when...

  • you want to organize the data from user research
  • comparing individual personas relative to their relationship to the service
  • preparing materials for further analysis (e.g. Value Proposition Canvas)

Do not use when...

  • you do not have enough data and knowledge about users
  • you have not defined types of users (try Personas first)


  1. Gather all the information about a particular group of users (persona). These could be interview transcripts, notes from observation or statistics about their behavior.
  2. Prepare a canvas for each persona: divide a flipchart into 4 quadrants and call them: Says, Does, Thinks, and Feels. Then work with the quadrants in this specific order.
  3. There are also forms of the mapping that focus on what users hears about the service and how he or she sees it. They might be more appropriate for your service.
  4. Think about users’ needs and list them on the sides of the map.
  5. Use post-its to organize your findings on the canvas.
  6. Then discuss the emphatic maps in teams - focus on different experiences of individual personas.
  7. You can use the data for other techniques (such as aforementioned Value Proposition Canvas).

Keep in mind that...

  • if you want to avoid mutual interference, be careful not to place post-its during the discussions, as the dominant member of the team could alter the opinions of others
  • it is important to set a time frame for placing the post-its
  • if your team consists of more people, you may divide into groups that work simultaneously on different personas and, after a while, move to complement other maps

Find out more

In the analysis phase, you can use the following methods…

When you need to process the data to create a prototypical user

Download the book Service Design in Libraries

It includes detailed descriptions of case studies from both the Czech Republic and Norway.

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