Hello there! My name is Marco Gervasio and this is a collection of stories about how interaction design, digital marketing, visual design, and social media can come together to create powerful programs and platforms for a meaningful customer experience. Feel free to reach out to me:

marco@sequential.ca

journey

Planning Customer Journey Maps

 

In the past few months, I had the chance to develop a few customer/user journeys as part of the definition phases of pretty robust digital platforms (one B2B, the other B2C). The greatest reward was to see how useful and powerful this mapping exercise can be.

The reason why it works is because of the perfect balance between rational and emotional. While I use compelling storytelling to communicate the experience, journey milestones get down to business: not only do they represent key tasks and how users interact but also highlight key features and mechanics. Journey maps truly help everyone on the team (and the client) imagine how a platform will work and what success should look like. As a communication tool, they also help form empathy toward the target audience. I usually develop basic archetypes before developing stories. While they are not always as rich as other advanced persona artifacts, they help everyone stay focused and aware of those we wish to serve.

map

So before you get started, here are a few tips:

  • Have clear objectives – Communicate what you are trying to achieve with the journey maps, why it is useful as part of the concept and definition phase, and how it should be used.
  • Use as much data as possible – While assumption-based archetypes and journeys can help, those created from facts and numbers are usually more aligned with reality and help defend the experiential sequences with more conviction.
  • Stay in character – When developing the stories and identifying key milestones, always keep the perspective of the customers. Focus on each character’s goals, needs, and challenges. Also think of possible crossroads: users can often meet during their respective journeys.
  • Make it evocative – A journey map is meant to be inspiring. Use visual metaphors, creative layouts, and attractive graphics. Make sure the copy is clear and compelling. Personalities and real-life situations need to be convincing.
  • Keep it simple – Focus on what is important. While narrative elements help bring the journeys to life, overdoing it can be a distraction.
  •  Keep it up to date – It is very likely that maps will evolve as concepts and prototypes progress. Just like persona development, someone should be the owner and ensure its relevancy and usage.

The best part of developing customer journeys is actually presenting them. It can be a very interactive exercise with the team and the client. I usually prefer printing the visual map on a very large piece of paper, put it on the wall, and follow the tracks as I tell the stories of our key characters. I also ask everyone to group behind me, particularly when we start brainstorming or problem-solving after we go through the experiential paths.

In the end, a journey map is not just a great user-centric development tool. It also helps bring the team members closer together as they imagine the future platform.

 

Marco Gervasio

 

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Reach me
marco@sequential.ca

Profile
www.linkedin.com/in/MarcoGervasio

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www.behance.net/MarcoGervasio

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www.inload.com

User Experience Artifacts 
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