User-centered content design with empathy maps
Thank you to the organisers at DrupalCamp Ghent for the invitation and the opportunity to share an awesome tool that for me is the foundation of user-centered design. Empathy Map as a tool was developed by Dave Gray at XPLANE and since then has found its way from design agencies to digital transformation consultancies as we all seek out better tools and techniques to understand and empathise with our audiences and markets to design and build products and services they want. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, it is a close cousin of but not the same as sympathy.
Using the Empathy mapping technique we develop better understanding of our audiences by understanding:
Who they are in their world (their persona and current state)
Where they would like to be (their desired future/altered state)
What influences them (social and otherwise)
What they say their aspirations are (who and how they influence)
What feelings and motivations guide their behaviour
You can use Empathy maps at a macro level say for a brand or at a micro level for a user type/segment, you can download a blank Map to work with here, and there are two sample maps to help guide you; one for a persona seeking content to help inform his/her decision to buy a particular brand of a Digital SLR and another sample Empathy map that is somewhat left field. (these are large SVG files best viewed in a PDF viewer post download)
As Drupal/CMS consultants we can deploy Empathy maps to better inform our client's content strategy by using developed Empathy maps to narrowcast messaging at specific content touch points. If you'd like to explore how Empathy maps can empower your team to drive innovation, improve stakeholder engagement or address unmet user needs feel free to reach out.
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