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Empathy In UX Design

There's a fine line that separates good design from great design.

A good design is all about creating a product that is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The prime element of great design is not the 'look' of the design but the 'feel' of the product. Every great designer will tell you how crucial it is to understand what your customer wants from your design solutions. At Dezy It, we focus our creative energy on the design research process. We aim to understand our client's needs and desire to create an optimal positive experience!

Empathy is one of the core elements of user experience. We believe that only when we can deeply understand your problem, will we be able to create products that truly please you and your users. For this, we follow a thorough design research process. We create an empathy map for all our users, feel and connect with their emotions and take necessary action steps to create a functioning product.

Are you unsure of how to create an empathy map for your client? Let us take you through an empathy map where we explain each step in detail so you can build your customer journey map effectively!

Before we dig into that, we need to understand who we include in our empathy map journey.

An empathy map is created to help the design teams better understand their users. It includes stakeholders, marketing and sales, product development, or creative teams to build empathy for end users. For teams involved in the design and engineering of products, services, or experiences, empathy mapping is a great exercise that helps you 'get in the heads' of your users.

Let us take an example of this empathy map of a user Jamie who wishes to buy a TV and understand the steps of Empathy Mapping!

Establish your goal

Before you start working on the user's desires, you need to understand the user!

  • What do you want your user to be?

  • What should be the situation and optimal solution for their problem statement?

  • What obstacles might the persona face while designing a prototype for them?

You need to have a definite understanding of the user goals and what is the most optimal solution to align with their vision. You might have one of the best strategies, but it's not necessary that it would be the best for their goal! Ask questions to the personas -

What does success look like for her?

What does she need to do differently or decide?

Capture the surroundings

Any empathy map must capture the essence and observations of the surroundings. Here are the top questions we follow at Dezy It!

  1. What does your persona see?

  2. Is she looking for alternative products or services that the competition is implementing? What is she doing in her daily life experiences?

  3. Remember, your persona will be getting 10 other newsletters in her inbox. Give her a reason to open yours and keep coming back to you for more.

  4. Think of the action items that influence her buying behaviors. What is her attitude and what does she say? Only when you observe and analyze her behavioral pattern, can you truly understand what she needs, when she needs it, and how she needs it to be done?

  5. Always consider that she has people around her influencing her opinions. Can you reach out to her by a personal connection through her family, and friends and establish a welcoming presence? Focus on the things that have a true influence on her behavior.

  6. What do success and failure look like? What could be the possible frustrations and challenges she might face in her journey? How can you, as a company, solve those issues for her?

Summarise and Share with your team

Empathy mapping is a team effort! Every single person's input is valuable and should be taken into account. Capture conclusions from your teammates and share this customer-empathy mindset. You don't need to write anything and everything. Your empathy map should only include the thoughts, feelings, opinions, and understanding of the user's perceptions that matter to the project goal.

You might have to change some data and streamline your categories to work around the goal. Ensure that whatever changes you make are aligned with your persona's end goal.

Your empathy map won't be perfect, but it should be realistic. It should capture all the real-time data and information that you might need to ensure you are developing a product that is actually going to be useful for your customers.

"People ignore design that ignores people." - Frank Chimero, Designer

You see, it's not all about design or aesthetics. It's about how you can create a remarkable, functioning product that visually represents the attention to detail with which you have built each element. Emotions play a crucial role in all stages of product development so your user is not experiencing something abstract but a product that can evoke feelings and create good experiences for all.

Here are some bonus tips on: 'How to be a more Empathetic UX Designer'

  1. Your product should help people move forward in their life with comfort, excitement, and convenience in every interaction.

  2. Your product must let people experience great design with great functionality.

  3. Follow a human-oriented approach for user testing. Get real, valued feedback

  4. The product must evoke emotions and create a long-lasting, innovative, and convenient impact on the customer's mind

  5. Keep it simple and intuitive

  6. The user shouldn't have to think about the next step when using the product

  7. Tailor product features, functionalities, and upgrades specifically for your target audience.

  8. Your product must solve some problem of your customer.

  9. Use a data-driven approach to UX and focus on problem research more than anything else.

  10. The product must feel natural and humanized to the user.

We want you all to build designs that empower people and make their life easier and more convenient. Only when your customers enjoy the product, you will gain loyal end-users and a strong customer base. We hope these pointers are helpful for you to understand what an empathy map is and how to create empathy maps for your end customers.


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