While UX (user experience) is a very important aspect to website development there is often a missing component that is needed to tie everything together; a component called empathy mapping. Empathy mapping is a tool, generated either before persona maps or after, that allows designers and stakeholders to understand the needs and wants of their users. By focusing on categories such see, hear, think, feel, say and do, companies can reveal user emotions and gain insight towards actions and behaviours.
To create an empathy map, start by getting a large piece of paper and gathering your team of developers, designers, company executives and or stakeholders - this is a fun task and it requires a group effort. Once you have your paper ready, draw a square and separate it into the 6 categories I mentioned previously; see, hear, think, feel, say and do. Here comes the important part. On the paper you will want to determine both a user profile (similar to a persona map) along with a situation and or task such as a user logging into your website. Then come up with a bunch of questions to ask your user regarding the task you have chosen for them. With each question you will need to create a response as if you are in the shoes of your user. By answering each question, in regards to the categories, you will then be able to break down the users thought process and get to the root certain behaviours that may pertain to them. Normally, when company conducts user interviews, aspects such as emotions and thought processes are neglected as actions take the forefront. By incorporating a stage such as empathy mapping into your web development routine, you can gain a stronger connection between various user experience exercises and reveal aspects you may not have seen other wise.
Overall, Empathy maps are a great way to gain understanding towards user emotions and behaviour. If your company can better understand how your users thought processes work, then you will be able to better gear your products and services to their ultimate needs, wants and create amazing software.comments powered by Disqus