It’s about the who not the what

As I sit around the table with my project team, we discuss who we are trying to help. This is an important step in design thinking, who are you trying to solve a problem for? I have worked through this framework of thinking before as part of Filene Research Institute’s* Innovation Group, however, this is the first time my project team are deciding to solve for a couple.

As we explored helping people with their financial decisions we often brought up a partner, who they may live with, have children with, share finances with, etc. That’s when we decided that our empathy map needed to be for two.

What is an empathy map? It’s a tool used to help gain a deeper insight into your target audience. We have spent a lot of time discussing the specifics of our couple: what things they like to do, what stresses they have, what are their occupations, and what their current financial situation is. You may remember from my first blog that we use the term ‘tangled’ to describe their financial situation (if you haven’t read it, go check it out!). We know we can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. This meant another attribute was that our couple was self-aware that they needed financial advice (whether they share that with each other is another story).


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