Design thinking

Building smarter businesses

Marcus Mansjö

Journey Mapping is a great tool for helping your entire organization understand, prioritize and operate more efficiently in pursuit of the most enjoyable and profitable total customer experience. In large and small organizations with numerous departments and individuals responsible for delivering a single, coherent customer experience, it’s often difficult to align resources and drive toward a common goal with a shared understanding of challenges and the total experience.

What is a Journey Map?

  • A Journey Map is always based on a consumer or stakeholder perspective
  • A Journey Map is based on the element of time
  • A Journey Map is a tool for exploration and understanding
  • A Journey Map is visual
  • A Journey Map tells stories
  • A Journey Map uses lenses

Some label Journey Mapping as a research tool while others see it more as a tool for synthesis and analysis. For us, it’s both! Journey Mapping is very easy to use, very flexible, and accessible to almost everyone.

The backbone of all types of Journey Maps is the element of time – from a couple of minutes to a month, a year or a lifetime. You can divide Journey Maps into two different camps: exploratory and projective.The exploratory type is used to delve into and understand experiences; projective maps (often preceded by exploratory) are used to describe the ideal or improved experience journey. Some also use a 3rd, assumption-based type, but as these are not grounded in user research we do not recommend them.

How it’s done

Journey Maps can be created in many different ways. Here’s just one example: Begin by asking your customer to talk you through “today” or the situation you’re interested in exploring. As your respondent tells her story, take notes in the form of drawing the journey on a piece of paper in front of the two of you, sharing the experience. Plot everything on the timeline of your drawing and there you go – that’s your basic Journey Map. Once you have about ten such mapped-out stories, it’s time to overlay them and see if you detect a pattern.

Journey Maps can be more complex, for instance, based on the technique you use to interview your respondents or what your research sample looks like. You need to set thelevel and design the research depending on the depth of your project and what you require of your Journey Map in the end. As with any research, you never know exactly what a map will bring up. There are always surprises and you’ll always get something you didn’t expect.

The Veryday formula

We’ve created some special Veryday lenses that bring extra value to our Journey Maps, including the following two types:

The Emotional Lens
Uncovers what’s truly important to people deep down. If you map emotions that occur among users during their experience, you can use the emotional lens to understand what’s truly important to them and why. We call this Emotional Experience Mapping.

The Personality Lens
At Veryday we use the “Big 5 personality traits” to map or aggregate experiences based on different personality types during and after the experience. Although a bit complex, this lens has proven value since various personalities respond to stimuli differently but coherently. For example: a solution that may seem fantastic to one type is worthless in the mind of another, but perhaps your service set must accommodate more than one consumer personality at each touch point. It’s worth being aware of this when you design your product. By identifying the personality type that’s most important, profitable or valuable to you, you’re able to customize your service to fit that specific type and drive even stronger loyalty.

A good story is hard to forget and Journey Maps are excellent storytellers. Not just pretty things to hang on the wall, they’re a canvas for exploration and conversation.

It’s great to print your Journey Map in large format and dive into it with colleagues, customers, clients, whoever. As experience stories unravel, the discussions that follow allow for common understanding.

But creating a Journey Map doesn’t mean your job is done. Its real value comes from the patterns found, which must be analyzed so underlying reasoning and needs can be uncovered. It’s then that your Journey Map will help you prioritize and decide where to focus your efforts for building a better customer experience

Organizations need to focus their time and budgets on long-term innovation that creates growth. There are other tools, frameworks, transformation drivers and design principles for this stage, too, so stay tuned for further in-depth explanations from Veryday!