Affinity mapping, or affinity diagramming, gathers and categorizes qualitative information about your users. Ordering large amounts of data into groups or themes based on their relationships helps product teams synthesize brainstorming sessions, interviews, surveys, or usability testing, into actionable insights.
To get started, you need to gather information about your users through usability testing, surveys, or general observation. Write out each idea or finding onto a sticky note. Find a whiteboard or large table where you can organize and rearrange the messages.
Look for patterns and sort by theme, be it customer pain points, valuable insights, or product feature gaps.
In the end, you should have between 3-10 groups. Name the collections, rank them by priority, and share your affinity maps widely for awareness.
Affinity maps do not require special tools, only a strong desire to organize large amounts of disparate data. That said, Figma, Miro, and Mural are digital ways to create them. If designed with physical sticky notes, be sure to photograph your process for your portfolio.