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What are empathy artifacts?

Empathy artifacts are tools that propagate knowledge about the user in an organisation - they synthesise the research findings.
© Torrens University

UX main artifacts can help you share understanding in your organisation and show empathy towards your users. It sounds trivial, but you probably have been here before: you and your co-worker disagree on what needs to be done. It’s even harder to agree on a solution when you don’t even agree about which problem needs solving.


Mock-up of personnel file for Morena Rivera Empathy artifacts are tools that propagate knowledge about the user in an organisation. They synthesise the research findings into something shareable and understandable by all. Everyone involved in the product shares the same empathy towards the user.

User Journey Maps

Mock-up of User Journey Map and Emotion graph

A user journey map helps describe the user experience from a problem to a solution.

You’re telling stories, something that humans have always done to share knowledge and promote empathy for others. Your personas are your characters, and the journey map describes what they’re going through.

Airbnb’s Snow White

Airbnb famously took this concept further. To truly improve their user experience, they’ve looked at the masters of storytelling: Disney. Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky read Walt Disney’s biography and discovered storyboarding and its benefits.

They created the technique from the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it outlines the film narrative in something similar to comic book strips. Chesky then created a project internally called “Snow White” and even hired a Pixar animator to design an emotional end-to-end experience. This project has helped the company develop many of its current innovations.

How Snow White Helped Airbnb’s Mobile Mission


We spend a lot of time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it. Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Director of the Arnhold Institute, Chair of the Department of Health System Design & Global Health (Mount Sinai NYC), Social Advocate
© Torrens University
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