Check out these four UX map examples that save you from drop-offs in the future. Brought to you by WANDR– experts in product strategy and ranked #1 UX Agency in Los Angeles by Clutch.
Whether you are designing an application or a website, the way users interact with it is what will make it effective. For instance, if a customer finds it difficult to use, this is a failure on the part of the UX design team. Thus, a new website or application must always start with UX mapping in mind.
Why Is It Important to UX Map?
UX mapping is a process that narrows the gap between the needs of the users or customers and the product. For example, let’s say a company is launching a new website they want to be easy to use, while also appealing to their user base.
How should this company do this? A UX map can teach the company about their users and the way they will interact with the application or website. Not only will this typically involve a range of mapping processes, but also will provide insight into the following questions:
- How will the design affect and impact the user?
- How will they use it?
- How will it appeal to them?
- How will it deliver results for the company?
- How will it address the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of the user?
- How can it best deliver information to the user?
Therefore, a UX map is critical in terms of designing an application or website that can be used in the best possible way by the target audience. In this way, an effective UX map can have the following functions and impacts:
- Improve the way that information is delivered to customers and users
- Make the user experience more pleasant and intuitive
- Connect more effectively with users and customers
- Build a bigger user and customer base
- Develop a better ROI
- Build a better brand reputation
- Build greater market visibility
Getting to Know Four UX Maps
The type of UX map process you use is dependent on the audience and the goal of the interaction with them through either an application or website user interface. This forms the type of user experience they have.
In this context, there are four common UX maps: customer journey map, empathy map, experience mapping, and service blue print.
1. Customer Journey Mapping
When a customer has a specific need that the company product or service is trying to address, the type of UX map especially useful is the customer journey map.
A customer journey map is a detailed representation of the way a customer will search for information on a product or service. By focusing on what goal the customer is looking to achieve, this UX map makes it as effective and as easy as possible for the product to reach the users’ goal.
Additionally, an important and unique aspect of the UX journey map is that it considers the thoughts and feelings of the user. It utilizes a linear process that maps out the way that a single customer interacts with an application or website to find information, a service, or a product.
In order to receive all of this data, the customer journey mapping process is often broken down into four so-called ‘swim lanes’: phases, actions, thoughts, and emotions & mindset. Each lane places the customer at the center of the design process and addresses a key area of their overall experience.
Customer journey mapping is useful for businesses that are service- and product-centered. It helps them identify customer needs by breaking down any bottlenecks or pain points during the interaction.
2. Empathy Mapping
An empathy map the deepest dive into the mindset of the user compared to any other type of UX map process. In short, this process helps to build a thorough understanding of users.
In order to fully understand what the user is experiencing, this map is divided into four areas: thinks, says, feels, and does.
What is the user thinking? What is the user saying? What is the user feeling? What is the user doing?
Furthermore, this map is not linear or sequential like the customer journey mapping process is. Thus, empathy mapping is considered to be a useful mapping technique to understand users better and build rapport and empathy with customers.
To perceive the end user, the empathy map attempts to externalize their internal experience. The whole experience is always tied to the externalized experience of the user from the above four perspectives: thinks, says, feels, and does.
3. Experience Mapping
There are times where it is useful to build an understanding of a general human behavior when designing a website or application. For instance, this may be necessary in a situation where there is no defined target audience. Experience mapping is the UX map to go to for a scenario like this.
Fundamentally, the experience map visualizes an end-to-end journey by a generic user. What is important to note here is the user is generic. In experience mapping, the user is not part of a specific target audience, nor are they interested in a specific service or company product. Instead, the process attempts to map the general users’ journey in a similar way the customer journey mapping process would.
In addition, similar to the customer map, the experience map is divided into four key areas of understanding: phases, actions, thoughts, and feelings & mindset.
However, unlike the customer journey mapping technique, the experience map is not tied to a specific type of user, service, or product. Thus, this is the most useful technique when trying to build a picture of general user behavior.
4. Service Blueprinting
Oftentimes, one type of UX map is not enough to completely visualize the multiple interactions users experience. Despite the customer journey mapping process being effective at visualizing things from the point of view of the user, it does not provide much of an insight into what happens on the other side. This is where the service blue print map comes in handy.
Large and complex companies that offer multiple services and products need a way to visualize how their departments and employees also interact with customers. Whereas customer journey mapping focuses on the user, a service blue print map is all about the company behind the product or service and their processes.
Also tied to a service or a product, service blueprinting is often coupled with the customer journey mapping process. In order to both visualize how the customer experiences a website or application and how they are best served by backstage processes, you need the two processes.
When a company is large and includes multiple departments, processes, and people, this mapping technique is useful. Similar to customer journey, this mapping technique is also divided into four key areas, referred to as swim lanes: customer actions, backstage actions, frontstage actions, and support processes.
Keeping these four areas in mind, service blueprinting specifically addresses the following concerns:
- What actions will the user take?
- How does the user interact with the application or website?
- How will the employees and processes behind the scenes behave and assist?
- What support processes are in place to help the user and enable the functioning of employees backstage?
This mapping technique is especially useful for identifying areas of weaknesses in a large company. It can offer useful insights to improve processes and interfaces to better service the user as well as employees.
As customers come to expect more of companies and organizations, it’s useful to employ UX mapping that puts people and processes in the context of the user experience. These maps assist businesses, individuals, and organizations in improving their relationships with customers and users alike.
What UX Map are you most familiar with?
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