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Why is an empathy map important?

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

An empathy map helps decision makers understand the person, their context, their thoughts, feelings, actions, pain-points, goals so they can make human-centered decisions about problems or opportunities when growing the business. When using design thinking to grow the business, solve complex problems, or navigate uncertainty, an empathy map is key.

Leadingrowth uses empathy mapping to converge the findings from the first phase in it’s 4DLX Growth Design Thinking Framework. An empathy map is a one-page visual that communicates to its viewer information about a human.

The human may refer to an individual or a group of individuals. Design thinking is human centric. This means if we are going to grow the business by designing new solutions or make improvements, it is important to understand the person we are designing the solutions.

The empathy map shows its viewer what is important to the person of interest. When viewing the empathy map, we learn more about the person. We see the world through their eyes. We hear their perspective. We see their viewpoint. We get an insight into what they are feeling. We see their pain points and their challenges. We get an understanding of what is getting in their way from completing a task. We learn who influences them. We learn what is going on in their world. With a better understanding of the person, we can design solutions that will help to improve their world.

In the Discover phase of the 4D Design Thinking Framework we practice empathy as we learn more about the person of interest. We might discover more about the person through digital analytics, interviews, card sorting, discovery tours, observations, surveys, market research or other design thinking practices.

In the Define phase of the 4D Design Thinking Framework we create an empathy map. We do this by converging all the data we have about a person into an empathy map template. We use the empathy map template so that we can turn raw data into meaningful information. We want the data to tell a story about the person. At Leadingrowth we have a few different empathy map templates, which one we use will depend on what information we need to know about the person of interest. You can download an empathy map template from our website.

We use the empathy map in the Design phase of the 4D Design Thinking Framework. An empathy map is an artefact of influence. We use the empathy map along with the vision board to design solutions for the person of interest. At Leadingrowth our solutions have a growth theme. We focus on helping people to grow themselves, grow their team, or to grow their businesses. An empathy map helps leaders achieve their growth goals.

Leadingrowth offers a basic course in empathy mapping. Learn how to create an empathy map, be a person of influence, as you use the empathy map in decision making and in achieving your growth goals. In the course you receive two empathy map templates, two roadmaps, and an infographic showing you the steps in creating an empathy map. You also receive five videos addressing the key questions in empathy mapping, one of which shows you how to create an empathy map.


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