Gain deeper insight into a specific experience someone is going through
By encouraging teams to explore what people say, do, think and feel - Empathy Mapping connects us more deeply to the people we are developing solutions for. This is a great activity to do before developing briefs, strategies, and especially before developing creative ideas. Alternatively, this can also be used as a way to foster an empathetic connection to your client and internal teams.
Review existing research
Connect with your team to agree on who they would like to try to better understand and empathize with. Have them prepare by gathering any existing research, notes, etc. on your target audience.
Construct a whole-person perspective
As a team, use the Empathy Mapping Template to work together to chart out what your target audience Says, Does, Thinks and Feels within the context of a specific situation or experience (e.g., shopping for a car)
Imagine yourselves as the audience
Take some time to talk through the map, section-by-section. Encourage the team to step into the proverbial shoes of this group of people. Discuss what jumps out and what is interesting. Any insights or stories you want to hold on to for the rest of the project?
Step back and reflect
Step back and look across the entire map and audience's holistic experience. Discuss patterns, surprises, even tensions and contradictions.
Determine how to proceed as a team. Consider if more time is needed to further refine the map, or if it's in a good place to share with others to begin collecting outside input. If the team feels strongly about the maps final state, consider diving into the exercise Conducting a Brainstorm as a next step to begin generating ideas or solutions that pertain to this target audience.