At Integrity, one of favorite user experience tools is the user experience map. It is an amazing process that helps our clients make their projects more successful, allowing team members to stay focused on providing a great experience for the users of your product.
In its most basic definition, user experience mapping is the process of capturing and communicating the lifecycle of interactions your users will have with your brand and products. It shows the user's journey as she navigates her own objectives, desires and fears, and it can illustrate precisely which channels she will be using to interact with you throughout her journey. The map can also highlight the emotional ups and down of her journey, so the team can adjust the messaging and features to best match the needs of the customer at any given time.
We have created experience maps for many of our clients, and the outcome of this process is truly transformative.
We undertook one of our biggest UX mapping endeavors when we partnered with one of the nations largest home improvement franchise. We spent more than six months becoming intimately knowledgeable about the company's inner workings, customers and influencers.
They were very successful in their showrooms, but were disconnected with their online efforts. We decided to map the successful offline experience to determine how the online experience could support and enhance this experience.
The real "ah-ha" moment we had in the process was when we realized the company would have to fundamentally change how they viewed their own core value. The company had been focused largely on price, but the true value they brought to their members was something quite different - exposing a huge opportunity for future growth.
Based on this experience map, we were able to determine which features were needed in a web application that would not only support the offline experience but also enhance it. We created a prioritized features roadmap for the new application that guided the product team with immediate actions and long term strategy. Throughout the process of defining the features, designing how they would look and act in the browser, and actually building the application we constantly used the experience map as a tool to make sure we were providing the best experience for our users.
After all, its not an application that a client wants - its an amazing user experience that solves real user issues and earns tangible bottom-line benefits. This requires a consistent and clear flag on the hill that everyone can see and reference. Often, that flag is a detailed User Experience Map.
If you want to learn more about experience mapping, check out this free PDF guide from Adaptive Path.
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