Empathy Mapping

Empathy mapping helps teams gain deeper insights into what the customer was thinking and feeling.

After engaging customers in storytelling, the Design team must unpack their findings to identify key themes that make the stories actionable and a source of inspiration for solving the problem.


What is Empathy Mapping?

Empathy Mapping is a collaborative tool that is used by project teams to unpack customer interviews in order to synthesize information from their conversations and observations. The empathy map helps teams gain deeper insights into what the customer was thinking and feeling.

The empathy mapping tool consists of four quadrants:

Empathy Mapping Say


What did the customer say during the interview? What defining words were used? What are the key elements of the user’s story?


Ideally, the Say section will contain real quotes from the user, which were spoken during the interview.

Empathy Mapping Do


What was the customer doing in the story they shared? What actions (such as changes in body language) and behaviors did you observe during the interview?

Empathy Mapping Think


What might the customer be thinking? What occupies the customer’s thoughts? What does this tell you about his or her beliefs and motivations?

Empathy Mapping Feel


This section contains information about the user’s emotional state. What worries the user? What does the user get excited about? How does the user feel about the experience? What emotions might the customer be experiencing?

Empathy Mapping Design Thinking Process to unpack customer interviews

To view our other available tools and templates, please visit our online resource page. All PDF versions of our tools are free to download.

Empathy Mapping Instructions

Download the Free "Empathy Mapping" Template (PDF)

Purchase the template to customize for your own organization

All of our tools and templates are available in Word or PowerPoint format to allow organizations to purchase and customize the templates to their brand standards.

Empathy Mapping allows the Design Team to gain a deeper insight into what the customer is thinking and feeling, which is a critical part of the design stage. This topic is a core concept of applying creative problem-solving through design thinking. To learn more about design, please visit our Introduction to Design Thinking Course.

The Design Thinking course teaches a creative problem-solving that will give any professional an advantage in their industry or career.


  • Designers or Product Development professionals that are motivated to bring innovative new products and services to their business and customers.
  • Consultants who want to offer their clients a model for applying creative problem-solving to help address business challenges.
  • Human Resource professionals seeking to develop more human-centered solutions to support workforce members while driving higher levels of employee engagement.
  • Members of Leadership who are wishing to gain competitive advantage by differentiating their business’s products and services.
  • Individuals or Teams that are searching for new ways to solve complex problems by placing the customer’s needs at the center of their solutions.
Design Thinking Training, continuous improvement certifications

This course will help expose the learner to various design thinking tools and mental models – all with the emphasis on innovating through creative problem-solving.


Our objective is to provide the learner with practical tools for applying a versatile 3-step design thinking process within their organizations. Through this framework, the learner will be able to reframe problems from the customer’s perspective. With this perspective in mind, the learner will drive improvements around the customer experience using tools such as deep-dive interview, journey mapping, empathy mapping, and rapid prototyping.

Need help introducing use of Empathy Mapping at your organization?

Schedule a 30 minute coach call today and let’s talk through the details. 

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