The empathy map is foundational to the field of design. It helps us catalog and categorize user thinking, feeling and action. Using the template below within interview and sorting activities allows for a more nuanced consideration of the informant’s position.

It is empathetic because it separates all the characteristics involved in human design challenges. This contrasts the traditional empathy map that groups feeling and thinking or speaking and acting. Those are often vastly different behaviors.

Universal because this map can be used by the researcher to keep track of user interviews and ride-alongs and by the user or informant during self-assessments or sorting activities. It can be used during a coached session or on its own.