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Friday, May 15 • 9:15am - 10:00am
Lightweight Journey Mapping: The rewards of customer driven narratives

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A common challenge for User Experience professionals is to exercise a broad enough approach within realistic business resource constraints.  For example, ethnographic research is expensive and time-consuming, but we experience great payback in the quality and richness of insights.  This method is inspired by the richness of information that comes from ethnographic research. It combines tools from critical incident technique, journey mapping, and medical diagnosis practices to efficiently and effectively understand more about the hurdles and delights our customers experience as they interact with our products.  We offer ‘Journey Mapping Lite’ as a practical and simple method for capturing ethnographic gems.

A traditional customer journey map is a diagram that is used to visualize a customer's interactions, or touch points, with a brand. The traditional journey map spans across time and devices, as well as workflows, and reveals the customer's perspective on their entire interactions with a company (e.g., purchasing and using a product, troubleshooting support, and continued sales and marketing). We have adapted the method to tap into a customer's most salient interactions within a specific goal oriented activity or desired workflow.

The Journey Map Light method can be used in combination with other traditional methods, for example a customer interview or usability study.  The purpose of incorporating a lite journey map is to allow the user to drive the exploration of their most salient delights and hurdles across their workflow. Just like a traditional customer journey map, this can also span multiple company touch points and/or products.

How to use the method?

The method involves putting together a timeline that is anchored with starting and ending points of a workflow and/or goal oriented activity. The user then describes 3-4 of the most salient milestones in that workflow, and assigns a rating to each of these milestones. The user then has the opportunity to step back, drive the discussion and elaborate on each of the milestones.

When to use the method?

This method can be used in early discovery phases to understand how users are currently interacting with our company and experiencing our product(s) within their workflow (the pains and delights). It can also be used in the during development phases to understand and explore the most significant (to them) interactions that the customer experienced, for example, as part of a usability study.

Why use this method?

Benefits of using this method:

1. Provides more context and mental model insights than an interview alone.

2. Effectively and efficiently summarizes the most significant pains and delights of users' workflows, in their own words.

3. Recorded results can easily be shared with a broader set of stakeholders.

4. Can potentially get you to a new understanding of how your customer works, how they think, their constraints, assumptions, etc. when the user is driving the discussion (vs. when we drive the conversation with questions or tasks).

5. Provides a measurable outcome (in the form of ratings).

6. Works with broader study objectives. When we used it, our study ended up spanning across a number of 'touch points', 'products' and 'features'. This is one way to talk about a broad space in a manageable way. It allowed us to quickly understand and focus a on what was most important to our customers.

7.  Usability practitioners who want to extend their skills into the broader UX domain will find this method easy to integrate into their toolkits.

avatar for Laura Dove

Laura Dove

Sr. User Experience Specialist, MathWorks
Laura has over 20 years of UX and human factors experience. She leads a company program UX effort, supporting new scientific and engineering trends via product offerings. Always focused on cross-functional engagement and achieving good project traction, she enjoys customizing hybrid... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Reinach

Stephen Reinach

UX Manager, MathWorks, Inc.
Stephen has over 20 years of human factors and UX experience. Currently at MathWorks, he manages a UX team and works collaboratively with software development teams to identify requirements and create and enhance product designs for complex technical computing applications (think... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT
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