Communication map

Understanding which communication channels your users use and how they use them.

Practical Information

What is this tool?

A visual overview of the communication channels that are being used (and not used) by a specific target group. Review a list of channels and assess the frequency of use, the social context in which they are used and the type of information that is shared on each of them.

Why do we use it?

To understand how you can share information or how to communicate with the different stakeholders in the project. It also informs you about the type of information they are being exposed to and what their preferences are for channels and format.

Design phase:

Design research


Pen and paper, Print, Online tool


<30 minutes

Worksheet Print
Worksheet Digital
Worksheet French
Worksheet Arabic
Worksheet without Text
Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. Decide on how to use this tool, it can be filled out by participants on their own, or in an interview setting. In the first case you can explain the whole tool and let people fill it out on their own. In the second case you place the map in front of the interviewee and fill it out together.

2. Let the participants follow the instructions on the worksheet. Start with a simple drawingof themselves in the inner circle and add their name, gender and age. 

3. Place the icons of the different communication channels and tools in the circles according to how often they use them: every day, every week, every month. Or outside the circles if they are never used.  

4. For the channels and tools that are most used, describe more details: 

• When do you use this? 

• What do you use this for? 

• Who do you use it with? 

• How do you use it?

This tool can be used online, offline, through a survey. And if you use it with people who are illiterate you can also record voice messages for the icons.

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

Use the insights you get from this tool to formulate insights and recommendations that guide your ideation phase.

Related tools

Actor network
Being aware of all the actors that have an effect on your design challenge
Use the actor network to identify actors with whom you want to conduct this tool
Social map
Understanding the social connections that influence your users
The social map can be used alongside the communication map, both provide crucial information about the users
Visualising your user as a real person to create empathy for them
Combine the insights you got from doing tool with several users to create one persona of your user group

Thoughts? Share with us!

We would like to know how you experience how you used our tools.
Share with us your experiences and filled out worksheets.

Email us at:

Back to all tools