n the lesson of design thinking, we wanted to experiment the map of empathy which is to help in understanding the target person “the customer”. The map of empathy has critical role at the beginning of the design process of any product. It provides a better user experience for the products and services. This is as empathy has a critical role in the human-centered design. In this type of exercises, service providers can identify things which are unknown about customers. Thereafter, producers can fill potential gaps. Empathy map inform service providers about people to be empathised with, what they would see, say, do, hear and feel.
To practice the maps of empathy in this exercise, we wanted to analysis the use of the toilet by costumers with different needs. We were divided into a team of three: blind, mute and robot. The mute person was to warn others for any hazards in the surrounding area as he is the only one who could see. The robot was able make actions when required and following the instructions of the blind person who was able to speak. The blind person was to sense objects around and describe his feelings, but not by eye seeing.
The needs of the blind person were essentially to be able to reach the bathroom easily with less objects as obstacles on the way. The bind person was not able to see the mirrors and the flooring, but he needed to feel that the floor was dry and not slippery. He wanted to have the flush bottom and toilet rolls near to the toilet seat. Also, they wanted to have the sink close to the toilet seat. They needed a relatively good space to wait inside the bathroom. He wanted the dryer machine to be accessible not far from the sink. They were able to hear any noise. The mute person was not able to ask for things needed in the bathroom, so he needed to see everything in a visible place to avoid asking. The robotic person was much interested in having the toiletries in accessible places, with a good space which enabling him to move around. Both blind and mute people needed good smell during and after the usage of the toilet. They were able to hear talking, laughing, running water, hand dry, so the noise level is important for them but not for the robotic person.
The three people needed good space to move and also a dry shelf away from the sink, but it should be reachable by the blind person. Additionally, the three people needed a clean and hygienic place.
Following this exercise, we draw our findings on paper taking the shape of the empathy map below. We presented our findings to other groups. We concluded that every customer has different experiences and needs. The best way to understand these needs from the costumer perspectives and think about concerns and needs.
Map of Empathy is an essential tool during the product development process because it allows us to experience what our customers could feel when dealing with our product to be. We can also benefit from others feedback to achieve greater success.
“Engaging with people directly reveals a tremendous amount about the way they think and the values they hold. Sometimes these thoughts and values are not obvious to the people who hold them. A deep engagement can surprise both the designer and the designee by the unanticipated insights that are different from what they actually do – are strong indicators of their deeply held beliefs about the way the world is.”