Conducting interviews for empathy maps: Preparation

Ashish Sharma
2 min readMay 23, 2021

Empathy plays an important role in developing persona, user pain points and user journey map. These will ultimately help us in understanding and describing a real world situation which will further be used in the UX development process.


Now that we are set with basic understanding and reasons for conducting interviews, lets begin with the following steps when preparing for the interview:

Collect supplies

One must be ready with the tools we are going to use when conducting the interviews, things like your computer, the list of questions, pen, pencil or anything else required. One must be ready with these things in advance to save time for both parties.

Gathering foundational research

Since we are in the beginning of the process these interviews are going to be the foundation of user research.

It is helpful to gain a basic understanding of the project and try answering some questions yourself, this will help you to produce right questions and eliminate the bias.

To formulate a questionnaire, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you need to know about users and their community to understand their experiences?
  2. What are the processes, practices, and emotions that people experience around the problem you are trying to solve? How have these things changed over time, and why?
  3. What are the problems that users still have not solved, as they relate to the product you’re designing? What would solving those problems do for users and others?
  4. How will the product you are designing function within users’ lives?

Research the users

Before starting the interview, a little background knowledge about the user will help you to graduate the conversation. You can start by asking their name, how they got to know about the interview or their experience with the product before.

Script interview questions

Now creating a list of questions beforehand and keeping the questions consistent with every user is considered the best practice. Though you can deviate from the questions in your list if necessary to learn about the user’s peculiar experiences.


Well this, I know with my own experience. Things can go really weird when I get nervous during an interview.

If it’s your first time conducting an interview or you have done it multiple times before, one must practice the whole interview with themselves by looking in the mirror or with anyone from your family and friends or your colleagues. Trust me this will help you sustain your confidence throughout the interview.



Ashish Sharma

Not just a UX Designer, I love creating stuff ✨ Connect with me via email: