Method overview

When you strive to put people at the center of every new idea, it’s worth asking questions like: Who is involved? What do they care about? How much influence do they have? Answering these questions helps ensure that the people served by your design will be thoughtfully considered throughout the design effort. If you are able to step back and see an entire landscape of people, you may discover design opportunities previously obscured by a limited perception of your potential impact. Seeing the system as a whole can serve to reorient your team’s approach or even lead to a redefinition of the problem.

The balance of any ecosystem is defined by the interrelationships of its parts. Each individual unit, whether key or peripheral, plays a role in how the system works. As a visualization of people’s relationships, interactions, and needs, a Stakeholder Map helps you understand the extent and impact of your design decisions.

The benefits of this method

  • Focuses on people above other factors.
  • Guides your plans for future research.
  • Documents your research findings.
  • Builds a shared understanding.


Quick guide

  • Identify a subject area to focus on.
  • Convene a diverse team of collaborators.
  • Generate a very broad list of stakeholders.
  • Draw a symbol of a person for each different type.
  • Write a speech-bubble to summarize their mindset.
  • Write a label describing their role or title.
  • Draw lines with arrows connecting the stakeholders.
  • Write a label on the line to describe relationships.
  • Circle and label related groupings.

Helpful hints

  • Try to include a very broad range of stakeholders.
  • Strike a balance between breadth and relevance.
  • Don’t represent groups of people in one symbol.

Combining LUMA methods into design recipes

The methods in the LUMA System are great on their own, but they are really powerful when combined into design recipes. Just like when you combine ingredients to make a tasty meal, you can also combine design methods to address challenges such as improving workplace culture or uncovering customer insights.

An example of a recipe from LUMA Workplace®:

Want to learn more about LUMA methods?