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All designs include a schematic, test data and design files. TI is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company. Experience maps have become more prominent over the past few years, largely because companies are realizing the interconnectedness of the cross-channel experience. It’s becoming increasingly useful to gain insight in order to orchestrate service touchpoints over time and space. But I still see a dearth of quality references. However, I believe their importance exceeds their prevalence. I’m often asked what defines a good experience map.
You could call an experience map a deliverable, although, as the current 4-letter word of UX, that may make some people gag a little bit. It’s an artifact that serves to illuminate the complete experience a person may have with a product or service. And it’s not a service blueprint which shows how a system works in enough detail to verify, implement and maintain it. US distributor that offers North American travelers a single place to book rail tickets and passes throughout Europe, instead of going to numerous websites.
I almost always apply five critical components that make an experience map useful. And when I say useful, I’m thinking of two key criteria: First, it can stand on its own, meaning it can be circulated across an organization and doesn’t need to be explained, framed or qualified. Like others, we make our experience maps large, often greater than five feet long. They’re meant to engender a shared reference of the experience, consensus of the good and the bad. Second, it’s clearly a means to something actionable—ideally something to design around—and not an end in and of itself. A good experience map feels like a catalyst, not a conclusion.
A map should have some qualitative and quantitative information in order for it to take shape in a meaningful way. In the case of Rail Europe, we created a survey that garnered over 2,500 responses, while also conducting field research with Rail Europe customers. If the experience journey has a good number of touchpoints, then it becomes hard to highlight every touchpoint in the experience map. The map would start to lose focus and meaning.
Instead, we start with a touchpoint inventory, cataloging all touchpoints a customer has with the product or service, great and small. But, beyond some logical groupings I don’t worry how they relate to each other, save for identifying the nature of each touchpoint or the phase in which it lives. An overall inventory of touchpoints for Rail Europe. View and download a larger version Once you start to synthesize your research you can start matching those insights with the critical, complementary and superfluous touchpoints from the inventory. The Lens The lens is an overriding filter through which you view the journey.
If you have clearly different personas, or user types with fairly different paths, then the lens will likely be a summary of the persona—in which case you’ll make multiple maps for each persona. The Journey Model I call the illustrated journey the journey model because it doesn’t always have to look the same, it all depends on the nature of the journey. Which means it could be rendered, or modeled, in a number of different ways. One segment of the journey model for Rail Europe. View and download a larger version It should also illuminate the most important dimensions—which could be the transition from phase to phase, or the switching between different channels.