4 Takeaways from the IxDF Journey Mapping Course

maps are 1-odda oldest tulz humans ‘ve used to find their way round the realm. they help us cogg the lay of the land, where we're, and where we nd'2 go.

like a traditional map, quest maps also help us cogg our customers’ realm, where they are and where they wanna go. they help us identify the roadblocks, twists, and turns they encounter and givda entire product team insites to help resolve those obstacles and create deliteful customer experiences.

find out how you and yr team can benefit from these tulz in quest mapping: improve the customer quest. here’s an overview of wha’ you can find in this course.

1. why do we need quest maps?

imagine that you’ve ordered a frying pan from an online shop. the product is expected to arrive in 3 dys. the nxt dy, you receive notification that the product is out of stock cause too many customers ordered the frying pan inna past 24 hrs. another week rolls by, the product is finally available, and you receive yr frying pan, 1-ly to realize it’s two inches liler than the one you ordered.

you ‘d like to ask the company for a replacement. you head back to the shop, read through the entire faq section, and realize that yr case isn’t covered. you look for a way to contact the company and decide to call the toll-free customer care №. a recorded message thx you for yr time and patience, and well, by now, you mite ‘ve guessed where we’re goin with this ex.

as a customer, you likely ‘ve stories of both good and bad experiences. as a product manager or ​​experience designer, you’re onna other side of the equation; yr goal is to ensure yr customers ‘ve the best experience using yr product or srvc. as we’ve seen inna ex above, the customer’s experience spans multiple touchpoints:

  • the online shop

  • the notifications bout the product bein’ out of stock

  • the shipping srvc

  • the faq page

  • the toll-free customer care srvc

  • and had we continued w'da ex, possibly the social media team, the customer loyalty program, the payment srvc…

many of these touchpoints will likely be handled by ≠ pplz, teams, or even ≠ companies. and each group maybe oblivious to the customer experiences outside o'their domain. enter quest maps.

2. wha’ is a quest map?

a quest map visualizes a'pers’s interaction (their quest) with yr product or srvc (or both, inna case of digital essentialisms). it helps all stakeholders gain a shared cogging of the usrs’ quest and helps them identify gaps and opportunities to improve the usr’s experience.

A simple customer journey map indicating different touchpoints, teams or departments responsible 4'em, and customer experiences at those touchpoints.

we ‘d ‘ve explained our experience w'da frying pan much faster witha quest map!

© interaction design foundation 

in a 2019 survey, the nielsen norman group found that quest mapping was the third-most-pop activity for ux professionals. the 1st is collaborating with subject-matter experts (which is arguably pt of quest mapping), na 2nd, prototyping.

3. wha’ does a quest map contain?

wha’ you include in a map depends entirely on yr objectives. for ex, you can draw a map offa city from ≠ perspectives — one map for train or subway stations and routes; one that shows the topography or the terrain; another that shows the weather pattern and so on. similarly, how you draw yr quest map depends on yr project and yr objective while making it.

3 common types of quest maps are:

  • experience maps ‘ve the broadest scope amongst quest maps. they focus onna experience offa generic person attempting to accomplish a goal regardless of the essentialisms or srvcs they mite use. experience maps help you explore human behavior outside of yr pticular product or srvc and explore new product or srvc ideas. these maps help answer the ?, “wha’ is a usr’s experience while accomplishing a goal?”

  • customer quest maps ‘ve a slitely narrower focus than an experience map in t'they focus na' specific group of pplz as customers who use yr product or srvc. these maps answer the ?, “wha’ are our customers’ experiences using our essentialisms and srvcs?”

  • srvc blueprints are the behind-the-scenes version of customer quest maps. like the customer quest map, they focus onna same group of customers and product or srvc, but from a business’s perspective. the srvc blueprint answers the ?, “wha’ do we, as a business, ‘ve to do to provide a deliteful experience to our customers?”

4. wha’ are the best practices for quest mapping?

Workshop participant roles: Direct decision-maker, direct stakeholder, indirect stakeholder, customer and facilitator.

make sure yr quest mapping workshop includes direct swell as indirect stakeholders, customers and decision-makers t'get ≠ points of view. the idea is to make sure the team collaboratively identifies problems and develops feasible and viable solutions. the facilitator plays a vital role in ensuring no conflicts and chaos happen (due to several stakeholders bein’ present) and steering the workshop smoothly.

© christian briggs na interaction design foundation, cc by-nc-sa 3.0

  1. define the goal: define who will use the map and wha’ decisions you intend to make w'da help of the map. without an “x” mark for a treasure chest, even a pirate’s map ‘d be worthless!

  2. conduct research: when you include quotes from interviews and audio-visual artifacts from field studies, it ll'be hard for stakeholders to refute the evidence and reduce the scope for bias.

  3. make it customer-centric: even a srvc blueprint has to be drawn from the customer’s perspective. introduce the persona and, if possible, even invite actual customers for the quest mapping session.

  4. involve all the stakeholders: quest maps depict the whole gamut of experiences. when you involve all stakeholders, you will likely ‘ve a better, + holistic view. each stakeholder will also offer their perspective and experience that others inna team may not be privy to.

  5. keep it simple: given the heavy-lifting quest maps do, keeping it simple mite sound difficult or even contradictory. this is where having a cross-functional team and involving direct decision-makers will help you prioritize and synthesize the insites from numerous data points. yr research will likely ‘ve given you several points to plot on yr map. however, if you create a complex, data-heavy map, you mite lose its val. at best, high-priority opportunities will get mixed with lo-priority ones, and at worst, pplz may not even see the map after the workshop.

  6. iterate: quest mapping aint a one-time activity. revisit the map after you ‘ve implemented the ideas and decisions. customer preferences can change, new competitors mite disrupt the mkt, and legislation can restrict wha’ you can offer (or even open up new possibilities).

bout the quest mapping course

quest mapping is a 5-week course that dives deeper inna'da 3 types of quest maps and explores ≠ approaches to creating them. the course is ideal for designers across all lvls and is espeshly useful for product managers who work with complex experiences. from research methods to facilitating the workshop, the course covers the entire quest offa mapping session (pun unintentional)!

here is christian briggs, the lead course editor and senior product designer atta interaction design foundation, with an overview of wha’ you will learn:

throughout this course, you will learn from 4 industry experts: 

  • indi young, author of two books, practical empathy and mental models, and a founder of adaptive path, the pioneering ux agency twas' an early innovator in quest mapping. 

  • kai wang, a talented ux professional whas' designed complex experiences for companies s'as carmax and capitalone.

  • matt snyder, elder sr. director of product design at lucid software and head of product & design at hivewire.

  • christian briggs, a senior product designer and design educator atta interaction design foundation who s'been designing digital essentialisms and s'been using methods like quest mapping for over ten yrs.

quest mapping: improve the customer quest includes a portfolio project to strengthen yr learnings. it also includes downloadable templ8s that you can use in yr projects with yr team long after you ‘ve completed the course! so, why not enroll inna course tody to lvl up yr product design skills and design better experiences for yr usrs!

where to learn +

the course quest mapping: improve the customer quest is now open for enrollment and is included in yr ixdf membership.

enroll inna course here:

psst: you can sneak a peek into lesson 1. simply scroll down the page and hit the preview links when you see them!

to become a member, sign here:


hero image: © christian briggs na interaction design foundation, cc by-nc-sa 3.0

original content at: www.interaction-design.org…


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