Identify patterns though a behavioural and environmental perspective in order to build empathy.


Topp Brocales (product designer), Sarah Gillis (product designer), Denise Villanueva (product designer), Denis Suhopoljac (design director), Alecia Morris (ux director), Ricky Knight (ux manager)


About a year ago we conducted an extensive ethnography study with Unbounce customers. We got a good understanding what our customers do on a daily basis and in what context our tool is used. This was one of our first big user research initiatives and it helped us understand user behaviour.

We collected roughly 500 highly valuable data points, which helped us understand and build empathy with our customers.

We were able to see their challenges in a new way, which inspired us to embody them in a direct representation of an archetype.

"Archetypes are modeled around a behavioural and environmental perspective that directly align to a job."

Affinity Mapping

We brought back tons of information from our ethnography study in raw format (interviews, recordings and photography). The first step was to summarize the information for each participant, so that we could get a better understanding of their day to day.

We broke down each participant based on who they were, their job description, company, size, industry, the people they worked with and the tools they used. From the interviews for each participants we gathered pains, gains, observations and documented their workflow process. All of this summary information was packaged in a participant poster format and was captured as data points.

All of the above helped us build a data set for our affinity mapping sessions. In the sessions we grouped the data points into behaviour patterns of needs and pains to build empathy. We made sure to identify and group any external tools they use, in conjunction with Unbounce or without.

Archetype Definition

We identified three potential archetypes. One archetype was redundant due to the fact that it was reflecting a combination of the other two. It also occurred in a small number of customers, signifying a rare occurrence out of necessity or limitation.

The two archetypes emerged out of the data with clear and distinct goals. Delightfully, their missions were complimentary. We analyzed our data patterns further to identify half a dozen focus areas, attributes & behaviour.

Original Instagram post of the illustrations that were used to represent the archetypes.

Archetype Breakdown

  • Archetype Name
  • Goal
  • Mission
  • Attributes & Behaviour
  • Focus

"Today, the UX team is using archetypes as a guiding light. It informs our decisions whenever we are defining and designing new features. We understand how sophisticated our archetypes are, what matters to them and how important each aspect of their focus is."

Building Empathy

In order for the organization to understand the value of archetypes, we presented our findings to every single person across the organization. Big groups tend to create barriers in dialogue. We made a conscious decision to keep our groups below a dozen participants may it be marketing, product, customer success, sales or data. This allowed us to share our user research findings and have a open dialogue about the archetypes and the rest of the ethnography study.

We used illustrations to represent our archetypes as a delightful and abstract factor, while most of our user research documentation featured real people using Unbounce as a marketing tool. For me in particular this was somewhat of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Illustration has always been a design weakness of mine. There are so many talented illustrators at Unbounce. Their work inspired me to get past my hesitation, and start somewhere. Special thanx to Denise Villanueava, Cecilia Martinez and Alejandra Porta for their collaboration and influence over the last few years.

I would love to be able to share the entire project in detail with you, however this information is highly sensitive and valuable.

Instead, I hope the information provided and template examples below will encourage you to build your own archetypes and invest in user research.

Stay curious...

Archetype Examples