In addition to creating personas, one of the tools that helps designers place themselves into the shoes of their users is by creating an empathy map.
The idea is to gather (and imagine) what each persona thinks, feels, hears, sees and does. Doing this exercise should help gain a deeper level of understanding of the people who are at the centre of the design.
The next step is to create a simplified version that can feed into a value proposition; displayed on the right in the image below.
The value proposition canvas was created by Dr Alexander Osterwalder, explained in more detail in his 2014 book “Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want”. It is a tool that helps to ensure that a product or service is positioned around what the customer values and needs.
After we had a complete picture of our personas that we had obtained through various interviews we could start with mapping their pains, gains and customer jobs. The following examples are based on the persona of the “mindful photographer” for Fair Photo.
This is a photo of a simplified empathy map that we obtained at a workshop.
After we were happy with collecting their pains, gains and customer jobs we brainstormed to find out what their gain creators and pain relievers could be.
Following on from the workshop, we added the notes to a digital version. This is the final version for the “Art Appreciator” persona.
With this final value proposition, we have the perfect summary of our product that we can always fall back on if we need to remind ourselves of why we are building what we are building. It also helps to quickly elaborate its premise to third parties and is a great inspiration for future business plans.