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Challenge mapping was developed by Antropologerne, a Danish consultancy, and is a simple method that gathers information and insight through fieldwork.

A challenge map clearly communicates insights gained from fieldwork and pinpoints specific challenges using pictures of and quotations from users, as well as an explanatory text that addresses a problem, barrier or theme. By translating insights into challenges that require solutions, students, users, managers, decision makers or others have a better foundation with which to discuss the insight gained through fieldwork. These insights can also address and help determine the future trajectory of idea development. A challenges map is a good way of working with a project’s development potential from an informed perspective.


After conducting fieldwork, a group reconvenes and shares experiences and their newly acquired information. The group can work according to the sequence that follows.

  1. Begin by categorizing the fieldwork results. See: ‘Clustering’ . Let all group members present their results and categorisations as they progress.
  2. Investigate the individual clusters and formulate the challenges/problem statements for each cluster/theme. See the examples in the column to the right. This is an iterative process during which clustering, synthesis and formulations continuously interact.
  3. Create an overview of a user profile, the visual materials as well as quotes and tie it all to your themes and challenges.

Worth Considering

A challenge map can be included in a student presentation or pitch to a customer. It is a manageable way of presenting conclusions based on fieldwork and a good way to spur constructive dialogue.

The Qualitative Interview method may serve to inspire you further


Inform students of the method’s purpose and supply them with examples. Ask the students to use a camera, video, pens, note block, etc.


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