Empathy Map

Type of record:
  • reflection aid
  • micromethod
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


Empathy Maps or Personas are mainly used in the understanding and observation phases of Design Thinking and Lean Startup Innovation. The Empathy Map transforms an abstract target group, the potential customer, into a concrete person - including one's own feelings, needs, problems and wishes. Meanwhile

more and more companies understand that there is nothing more important than recognizing the unconscious needs of customers. But you can't start from zero, you have to have a rough idea before creating the Empathy Map.

The Empathy Map helps to capture the examined persons or groups of persons on an emotional level. Alexander Osterwalder's Value Proposition Design approach also includes a persona tool.

A typical empathy map uses the four aspects of seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling.
- See: "What does the person see at the moment or in a certain situation?"
- Listen: "What is the person hearing right now or in a particular situation?"
- Think: "What does the person think about what they have just heard or seen (acoustic/visual perception) based on their experiences and expectations?
- Feel: "How does the person feel about what he has seen, heard and felt? Is there any discrepancy that may lead to discomfort or discomfort?"
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complexity challenges
  • Effective for low complexity challenges
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • P1 Understanding (identifying innovation search fields - problem solving)
  • P2 Analysis (of problems - the environment - people - products)
  • P3 Observing (of people - the environment - the product use)
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