Skip to main content


Field of application

#Problem Analysis.
#Product design
#Service design
#Process design


Resume / Brief description

The Emostory tool provides a easy way to record, in a detailed way, the emotions involved when a user experiences a service or a product. This knowledge allows the innovators to design better services and products.
The Emostory is built using Emostory cards organized in a time line. This line represents the whole experience. On each Emostory card, a moment is described in detail and its emotional charge (positive or negative) is shown.
The Emostory requires interviews and interactions with users in order to have real information.



  • Problem Analysis
  • Product design
  • Service design
  • Process design
Target group
  • Entrepreneurs
  • I&D teams
  • Innovation teams
  • Students
  • Community
Group size

4 - 20 people



Deeply understand the feelings and thoughts of the users regarding a service or product. This knowledge can be used to design better solutions. 




  • Emostory format placed on a digital board (Google Jamboard, Microsoft Board, Miró or other)

For each team:

  • Emostory cards (20 to 40)
  • Pen
  • Red and black colors


  • 60 to 120 minutes
Implementation - Overview

This is a tool designed to help innovators create services or products prioritizing user needs and feelings. It reflects the fact that the one who really can rate the quality of something is the user.
The emostory model provides a easy way to record and organize the different moments that make up the user experience. The tool provides way to explain, in detail, each moment and rate its emotional charge.
This is helpful to design products and services that really add value to the user.


Implementation - Guidelines

The Emostory proccess is as follows:


As this tool works better when real customers take part in it, you will have a good amount of pre-work since you will need to contact and convince them. You will need at least one customer for each team.
1 Definition of the objective. With this tool we are attempting to know more about the user experience of a specific product or service, so it is important to define the scope of this experience.
2 Definition of the working strategy.
The Emostory is built when our team meets the user or group of users and talks with them about their experience using the product or service. So it is possible to arrange this encounter in different ways.
It´s important to note that this tool can be applied using different strategies:
- The same team working with several users (or groups of users) one at a time. This can be done sequentially during one day or in different days.
- Several teams working simultaneously with one or several users during the same session.
3. Building of the guide to be used during the interview.
As the interview with the user must be done in an open way, it is important not to apply a questionaire in a rigid way. But, just to be sure not to forget an important aspect of the experience, an inverview guide can be very helpful.
The questionaire can include the following questions about the product or service:
- How the user got to know about it.
- The happy and angry moments
- The decision process, including influencers
- Personal ways to use it

Emostory building

1. Prepare a space on a table or wall where you can build the Emostory by placing the Emostory cards.
2. Start conversation with the user or users abour their experience using the product or service
3. Use an Emostory card to describe on it each of the steps in the experience. The square will allow you to make a drawing showing the situation. The lines allow a written explanation.
4. Ensamble the Emostory cards in a time line showing the user experience from beggining to the end. When a new event appears you can put the respective card in the right place displacing the others.
5. Rate the emotion experienced on each moment. Each Emostory card has a scale of hearts. You will use the black pen if the experiece was a negative one and the red if the experience was positive. Using the scale the user can rate how strong was the emotion experienced on that moment. Using the right color, fill as many hearts as the emotion experienced was weak or strong. For example, if the user had a very angry moment using the product, you can fill four pr five hearts using the black color, but if the next experience, although positive was "just alright", you can use the red color to fill just one heart.
6. The final line of Emostory cards is the Emostory of that user or group of users. You can use it to understand much better the moments and places where you and your team can innovate to have the most positive impact.
The cards showing the higher amount of hearts filled, no matter the color, represent the opportunites with the most potential to innovate.
If the experience is a bad one (black hearts) your challenge question has to be "how to radically change this situation?"
If the experience is a good one (red hearts) your challenge question has to be "how to take even more advantage of this situation?"
If the experience was rated radically different by different users, ther is an opportunity to learn the good practices and standarize them.


Example of application:

The health service of a university was working on "How to create the best health service for our students?"
To find ways to innovate in this service, the team did several sessions with students to learn how to better their experiences. To collect and organize the information collected in each session, the team used the Emostory tool.
Pictures were taken of the final time-lines to identify "high emotion moments"
Here some examples:
- The moment when the student has symptoms (Four black hearts because of the uncertainty they are feeling)
- The moment when the student is calling to make an appoinment. (Three black hearts)
- The moment when the student is treated by the doctor (Some rated it with high amount of black hearts and some with high amount of red hearts)

All this information led the staff to organize ideation sessions to address the moments with higher rates. The innovation process is ongoing and the future looks better for everybody.


Templates, Graphics for download Emostory cards
Additional format/references