Do empathy maps reflect the desires behaviours and fears of customers or of those who create the things?

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I must admit that ’empathy maps’ are something that is new to me.

Reading about them on NN/g I discovered that they are

A collaborative visualization tool used to articulate what we know about a particular type of user. It externalizes knowledge about users in order to 1) create a shared understanding of user needs, and 2) aid in decision making.

I  am all for better understanding our customers and I am sure these simple tools (sets of questions) could be useful

The one on the left is from NN/g.  The one on right from Studio by UXpin











I am currently reading this book that tells about the experiences of a ‘progressive’, ‘liberal’ from academia (Democrat to the last bone in her body) when she spends time with Trump supporters – at the time supporters of the Tea Party.

I kept thinking – would you create the same empathy map for both sets of people if you were, let us say, building a web site to sell cars or sell food?

If you have read Hillbilly Elegy or White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness, you being asking the same question.

My guess, and it is only a guess, is that 95% of the empathy maps produced reflect the empathy framework of people like those creating the map.

A bit like digital presences are created assuming attitudes and the same physiologial condition as the designers.

Is it possible to capture the full spectrum of desires, wants and motivations of the customer base in a single map. I sincerely doubt it. Dick Stroud

Read the original post here.