Mapping The Experience
An Experience Map is a powerful tool for understanding the needs, emotions, context, and behaviors of a person or a group as they interact with your organization. Experience Maps reveal gaps between a participants needs and expectations and the products and services your organization provides. An Experience Map can expose problems in the participant experience and reveal opportunities for new products and services.
Experience Maps are a strategic tool -much like a SWOT analysis- for identifying an organizations strengths and weaknesses. However, the Experience Map looks from the outside in, providing the participants perspective of the organizations strengths and weaknesses. Like a SWOT analysis, the experience journey map is a living document that evolves with shifts in society and culture as well as changes in technology and markets.
What Are the Components of aN Experience Map?
An Experience Map can focus on one segment of an overall journey - like new customer on-boarding or new patient registration- or it can document every touchpoint in the participants end-to-end experience. An Experience Map consists of stages and touchpoints. A stage is a logical segment of a journey. Touchpoints are the interactions a person has with an organization during a stage.
What Does An Experience Mapping Project Look Like?
Kickoff - An Experience Mapping project should start with reviewing your brand, market, competition, stakeholders, organizational culture and any existing participant data.
Research - This phase of the project is focused on understanding the participants perspective. You gather qualitative data by spending time side by side with participants, observing what they do, how they do it, and conducting contextual interviews. Explore the cultural and societal influences that drive the behaviors you are observing and provide context to perceptions.
Experience Map Development - At this point in the project, you create the physical Experience Map to visualize the participants interactions with a product or service from their perspective. For each touchpoint the following information is documented:
- Channel - How the touchpoint is delivered (i.e. website, phone, face-to-face, etc.).
- Emotions - How stakeholders (participants, employees, partners, family members) feel.
- Needs - What the participant needs to be successful and feel comfortable at that touchpoint.
- Context - The relevant physical, emotional, cultural, and societal contexts.
- Questions - Questions participants ask and the people or platforms (i.e. Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat) they use to ask those questions.
- Goals - The participants definition of success at that touchpoint. Goals can be stated or observed.
- Supporting Operations - Front and back stage people, information, technology, and processes necessary to deliver and support the touchpoint.
What Comes Out of an experience Mapping Project?
An understanding of participant behavior -WHAT they do and WHY they do it- is the deliverable of an Experience Mapping project. This insight is developed from the results of the research and delivered in the form of the Experience Map, influencer maps, and needs and value analysis.
All research materials, including pictures, interview notes, and any other data or assets generated during the Experience Mapping process should be retained and accessible to support decisions made based on data presented in the experience map.