The first time I heard of empathy maps was at college, but I don’t remember if it was in “Branding” or in “Project Management.” However, I remember that I thought it was a powerful tool to know better your client and to clarify the environment before acting. Besides, they are very easy to make.
What is an Empathy Map and how to do it?
This question is answered in numerous blog posts like for example here, here or here. Even there is a video on youtube. So I won’t write a lot about this.
In a nutshell, an Empathy Map is a perfect way to know and understand your clients better. As an entrepreneur you need to know your clients, what are they feelings, what do they want, what they need. To sum up, you need to know almost everything about them so you will know how to reach them and what to offer to them
How I do it?
I combined my knowledge with objective data. First, I make the Empathy Map based on my own experience and what I think about this target. And then, I make researches and inquiries to know them better and I correct the aspects that I wrote that are wrong, or if I don’t have anything wrong I add new information to the empathy map. I like this method because I realize if I were wrong or not about my knowledge of this kind of people. Besides, the Empathy Map is continuing evolving, I check the information that I already wrote and I add information during the project. This is very important too because people change, and maybe some characteristics that you wrote about your target a year ago is no longer true.
I make an Empathy Map of every project because it helps me to know what kind of style or design is better for that target. I make them at the beginning of the project, in the “Research” stage.
I also make it on paper because I really like the paper. I make the first sketches of every design on paper too, I also have a paper agenda…..Maybe you will think that I’m a bit classic but the truth is that for some kind of tasks the paper is more comfortable than a laptop, at least for me.
Useful tip: It helps a lot to draw the face like your real customer and to put him a name. Because you will be seeing this face all the time and if you have a random face maybe you will “forget” about the real personality of your customer and you will start thinking about yourself or your thoughts about them.
Empathy Map: Case Study:
This case study is an e-commerce that sells sportswear for women between 15 and 40 years. These women follow a healthy lifestyle and they are also into the fashion industry. Here you have a Moodboard of this company:
- Think and feel: How they feel about sportswear? They buy clothes all the time or they only buy clothes when they need it? Or they only buy clothes on sales? How they feel think about sports? Do they practice a sport for being fit? Or for being healthy? What are their dreams? What motivates them?
- What do they see: Which social network do they use? Who are their friends? Do they like being in a group? How they learn?
- What do they say and do?: How is their personality? Which are their goals? What frustrates them and what motivates them? What do they do in their spare time?
- What do they hear?: What and who influences them? How do they socialise? Who gives them challenges?
- Pain: What do they regret? What are their frustrations? What are their fears?
- Gain: What is a success for them? How do they a measure success?
This example is based on a project that I had, the company was Movement and it was a sportswear brand for women between 15 and 45 years. The real company is a physical store, not an e-commerce and it has also a restaurant with healthy and seasonal food. I designed the branding (logo and stationery) for this brand and also the logo for the restaurant, take a look to the brand.
You can download this case study here in pdf. Or share it on social media.
– If you are a digital fan In Real Time Board you have a lot of examples so you can get some inspiration first and then you only have to register on the page and start making empathy maps! It’s completely free.
– However, if you are classic like me here you can download a template that I design for you.
Do you know the Empathy Maps? Let me know in the comments!