According to the experience mapping guide from Adaptive path, experience maps are a strategic tool that allows designers to capture and present information about customers’ interactions with a product or service. It gathers information about the users’ needs, behaviours, motivations and feelings and overall it creates a journey of the customer experience. Overall, an experience map is a “visual narrative of the customers’ journey.”
If I think about the 5C model, I would say an experience map marks the transition between collecting and comprehending, because this tool is used once all the information is gathered to make sense of it and later on come with relevant concepts that tackle the real problem. This tool allows us as designers to generate insights, build knowledge and keep all the team on the same page.
The reading talks about 4 stages to make sense of cross-channel customer journeys:
- Uncover the truth: This is when the full customer journey is captured. It is important to understand the customer experience, context and the interaction with different channels and touchpoints. The text introduces a framework called Building blocks to guide the discovery and research work of the mapping process. This consists of 3 key actions: DOING, THINKING, FEELING. However it is also important to note information about place, time, devices and relationships to be able to understand the full context of the customer experience.
- Chart the course: In this stage is were collaboration is a key element of the process. It is necessary to synthesize the key insights and consider different points of view. Every person in the team could find a different insight from the same customer experience.
- Tell the story: when portraying all this information into a clear visual way the most important aspect to consider is hierarchy so that the journey is easy to understand.
- Use the map: It is important to remember that this maps are a tool that guides the design process. They are made to allow the generation of new ideas and concepts, to encourage participation and to identify the high value areas of opportunity. After the map is created, it should be used for planning and execution.
These are some examples of the different ways experience map could be created. There is not a set layout for them, this should be used according to the information that has been gathered and the best way to present it.
Figure 1: Yin, Z. (2013) User Journey Map Based on Experience Prototyping. Available at: https://yzoedesign.wordpress.com/tag/user-journey-map/ (Accessed: 17 October 2015).
This is normally the way a user journey begins. Categories are made, and the information is placed according to them to get an overall picture of the situation. The process it self could be quite chaotic at the beginning, but it is important to first aim for quantity, and later on polish the information.
Figure 2: Guy, S. Hiring Shanti Guy UX/UI Designer Experience Map. Available at: Yin, Z. (2013) User Journey Map Based on Experience Prototyping. Available at: https://yzoedesign.wordpress.com/tag/user-journey-map/ (Accessed: 17 October 2015).
This image shows an example of an experience map, it has the Building blocks (Doing, Thinking and feeling) and what I like about it is how clear it is organized, and it states the different stages of the customer journey and the touch points involved in every stage.
Figure 3: LEGO. Designing the Experience – Example WOW. Available at: http://www.ux-lady.com/experience-maps-user-journey-and-more-exp-map-layout/ (Accessed: 17 October 2015).
With regards to this other example, I like that it is a different layout and it focuses on the emotions of the user, it has a clear purpose. It shows a complete cycle of the emotions the customers go through when traveling, and thus this allows the design team to find critical points where the experience could be improved.
Adaptive Path (2013) ‘Guide To Experience Mapping’