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Creating Empathy Maps with Scott Sehlhorst

Dave Prior Senior Consultant/CST-CRM Specialist
Reading: Creating Empathy Maps with Scott Sehlhorst

In October, LeadingAgile SVP, Scott Sehlhorst spent some time talking with Dave about the importance of Personas and Proto-Personas and how to use them. In this episode of SoundNotes, Scott is back to talk about Empathy Maps, how they work, why they are so valuable and how to create one. During the conversation, Scott and Dave talk through each step of creating an Empathy Map. The podcast is one of our longer ones, but if you are seeking a better understanding of how to put one together, you’ll find a lot of valuable information in this interview.

You’ll probably want to download a copy of David Gray’s Empathy Map to have on hand while you listen to this episode. You can find that here:


  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:50 Some background on Scott
  • 02:30 Intro to the topic of Empathy Maps and how they relate to Proto-Personas and Personas
  • 03:09 What is Empathy? How does it relate to Sympathy and Cognitive Empathy
  • 05:46 What is an Empathy Map and who creates it?
  • 08:42 Understanding their understanding of their problem
  • 09:39 Whose job is it to create it?
  • 10:45 Where to learn how to interview users
  • 11:30 How do you pick which customers to focus on? (And the set up for the example we walk through)
  • 20:20 Who are we empathizing with? (Understanding the role you are focusing on)
  • 21:17 Understanding what they need to do
  • 24:13 What is the goal they are trying to achieve?
  • 26:25 Understanding what success means for the person we are focusing on
  • 27:54 What they see and what do they say – situational awareness and how they interpret what they see
  • 30:08 The disconnect between what do I see and what do I say
  • 32:16 What do they do
  • 33:19 The Double Design Process (Double Diamond Design)
  • 36:18 Moving from empathy maps to experiment maps or the value proposition canvas
  • 37:28 What do they hear (and how it is not all about sound)
  • 41:18 What do they think and feel
  • 45:45 How often do I revise the empathy map
  • 48:35 When I’m done filling out the empathy map, what do I do with it?
  • 51:05 How to reach Scott with additional questions about Empathy Maps
  • 51:57 Podcast Ends



If you’d like to contact Scott you can reach him at:


If you’d like to contact Dave you can reach him at:


If you have a question you’d like to submit for an upcoming podcast, please send them to


And if you are interested in taking one of our upcoming Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner classes, you can find all the details at

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