Design System Empathy Map

Empathy map of design system stakeholders

User Experience
UI Design
User Research

An exploration of the empathy map model with stakeholders of a design pattern system

This poster was first presented at the Information Architecture Summit 2017 conference in Vancouver, BC.

When an organization embarks on the journey of creating and maintaining a design pattern library system, there’s a lot more to merely publishing patterns for consumption by designers. It is an iterative process as the organization experiences their own pain points and successes while the system grows out of necessity. At the individual contributor level, there are multiple stakeholders that primarily include front-end software developers, user experience designers, and user interface designers. An empathy map model is explored with these 3 individual contributor roles around hopes, fears, needs, successes, governance, implementation, and communication as derived from qualitative interviews.

There are different efforts and considerations as we design for ourselves and our colleagues as real people. This inward introspection is especially important when addressing the reuseability of these patterns over the long-term vision of a digital product or ecosystem. In the same way that we approach designing and developing for our core users, we can take the same care to design for ourselves and colleagues in our discipline.

Inspiration taken from Paul Boag’s Adapting Empathy Maps for UX Design and Ethan Marcotte's Pattern Patter.

Catherine Dubut explaining her poster at IA Summit conference poster night 2017.
Poster night, Information Architecture Summit 2017. Credit: Jacob Geib-Rosch