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Journey Mapping – what, how and when to use a Journey Map

Natalie Ediger, October 30, 2017· Cleverclip

In the following blog we take a closer look at the Journey Mapping and show you how, when and where it can best be used.

Over the next few months we’d like to introduce some of the design-oriented tools we use at Cleverclip for both customer and internal projects. We welcome your experiences, questions and suggestions in the comments section below – and let us know if there is a specific tool you’d like to learn more about.

What is Journey Mapping anyway?

A Journey Map is the recorded journey of a person’s experiences. This “journey” visualizes the relationship of a person and an organization, a product, a brand or a service during a certain period of time and through different channels. This can refer to a variety of things – from shopping to using a mobile phone subscription to installing a TV – or to a classic customer-agency project relationship. This visualized journey becomes a tool that helps you to recognize which essential details are behind the relationship and what kind of emotions arise during specific interactions.

Sounds good, but when do you use it best?

Journey Maps can be used in almost any situation you want to learn more about. It’s a good way to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and find out how they feel when they interact with you or your product.

So whether you want to know what your customers think about your new shoe model – from the first sight to the moment you buy it, or whether you’re interested in what the complete user experience of your e-learning is like. You decide which experience and which part of it you want to sketch out and look at in detail.

So far so good – but HOW do you use it?

What you need: Post-Its (here’s the ultimate Posst It Life Hack), sharpies or thick black pens, a long sheet of paper to sketch the journey (wrapping paper is perfect), duct tape and one or two team members to brainstorm.

Determine the start and end points of the journey: You can make your Journey Map as simple or complicated as you want – don’t forget that it’s a flexible, dynamic tool that can grow and shrink. However, it is important that you define both the start and end points. When we come back to the shoe example, this can be the moment when the customer first saw the model in the store, up to a few weeks later when he goes back and buys the shoe. Or the start moment is when the customer enters the store and the end moment is when he leaves.

Get informed: Try to collect a healthy mix of qualitative and quantitative data. For quantitative information you can use website statistics or social media data. Allow enough time to get qualitative information – such as interviews with your customers or observations. If we want to know more about our clients, we conduct short telephone interviews with open questions. No false shyness, people like to talk and share.

Create a persona: Maybe your person already exists before you do your research – otherwise you think about it with the gained information. Personas are important to put yourself in the position of the target group. By giving her name and face, it becomes easier to identify with her and recognize her paintings.

Here we go: You know the beginning and end point of your journey and the persona who goes on it. Now you can add the emotion scale with +/-. So you start sketching the touchpoints and at each of these points you write down what the persona sees, feels, thinks, hears and asks. Think beyond your specific organization. What else is your persona dealing with right now? What other products and services does she use? Think about which actions, devices and places the persona is moving between and try to recognize and note these gaps.

Time to generate ideas: Soon you will see patterns, extremely high or low points – this is the moment when you can really start brainstorming. Think about how you can captivate your customers even more and what could enrich and optimize their experience.

Share the journey: Show your journey to the world. Let it rest for a moment and then rework it. Share it with others from your organization – other perspectives can see things you may have overlooked. We are also big fans of creating together – so why not keep a customer’s eyes on it?

Digitize your journey: Once you have sketched your journey, you can digitize it with tools like smaply or realtimeboard. And if, like us, you work remotely, you can use these tools to collaborate right from the start.

Ready to get deep insights?

As you can see, a Journey Map tells a story and makes the experiences of your customers visible. It makes every touchpoint visible and helps you to create hidden impressions. It puts the user at the centre of your design problem and makes the positive and negative impressions associated with your product visible. Ultimately, this can help you “what if? Answering questions, optimizing customer relations or generating new, innovative ideas for your future products or services.

We would like to hear from you what your experience is in creating Journey Maps! Did you stumble across anything unusual? Did you manage to come up with a new idea, and did you implement it right away? We are curious – share your experiences! Here, or on Facebook.

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