How Experience Maps Enable a Holistic Approach to App Development
Technology is moving incredibly quickly, filling our lives with amazing new experiences that quickly become fundamental to our day-to-day activities. Thankfully, the Enterprise World is no longer an exception, as evidenced by the increasing adoption of digital solutions by the giants of every industry.
Based on cases like Kodak’s, it’s important to realize the decision to stay out of the digital world is as risky as failing to choose the right solutions. That’s why this isn’t just about adopting the newest technology, or adopting a strategy that worked for another company, but finding the right strategy to improve and streamline business processes for your company in-keeping with your business drivers.
It’s not just a product. It’s an experience!
When devising your organization’s digital strategy, it’s important to pursue a holistic approach. Don’t focus on a single product or business goal. Rather, think of your company as a set of interconnected experiences offered in a system integrated by entities (e.g. people, products, services, etc.). In short, see the whole picture of your business.
Undoubtedly, adopting this perspective could have changed Kodak’s (and many other’s) stories. But, for those companies still in the game, now is the perfect time to ask: Do I understand all the experiences my company offers? How can a digital strategy help to boost these experiences?
One way to determine the answers to these questions in a business context is by using an Experience Map, which is a tool that helps organizations define a consistent cross-channel strategy to create value for businesses and their users. An Experience Map is a diagram for visualizing the chronological interactions between a provider’s product or service and its users. Note that “users” does not refer exclusively to customers.
For the purposes of this post, think of an experience as every interaction with your company in which a human is involved; this may be related to internal processes (e.g. the interaction between operators and executives), or external processes (e.g. the interaction between clients and Sales Representatives or with your product).
Benefits of mapping your experiences
Ideally, an Experience Map isn’t created in an isolated environment by a professional. On the contrary, in order to achieve a comprehensive analysis, this tool must be implemented collaboratively. Your team and stakeholders must actively participate in the process. Some benefits of using an Experience Map as a digital strategy starting-point are:
• Reveals opportunities in context
Ensures each opportunity and idea result from the deep analysis of every aspect (business and user-related) of each specific moment in the experience. Thus, when you identify an opportunity area, you’ll be able to articulate “why” and “when” it’s relevant.
• Develops empathy in your team
All mapped experiences should involve at least one user story, in order to ensure the analysis includes real human aspects, like emotions and desires. Over time, your team will be trained to be more sensitive to users as a result, and will better understand each experience from several relevant perspectives.
• Keeps your team focused and aligned
An Experience Map displays complex data in a simple way, so everyone can digest the information, regardless of their background or previous knowledge. This lets organizations normalize the team’s understanding of an experience and helps keep them focused during the decision-making process.
• Drives consistent strategy, free of isolated actions and complex divisions
Though multiple departments are usually involved in the development of a digital experience, this should never be apparent to end users. The end result should always appear completely seamless. An Experience Map ensures folks from every department understand the fine details of each interaction, enabling your organization to develop strong, consistent cross-channel strategies.
• Builds long-term value strategies
A big advantage of human factors is they don’t tend to change quickly; rather, only the context changes. Consequently, an Experience Map can guide an organization’s digital strategy for years to come.
Which experiences are mappable?
Now you understand the integral nature of Experience Maps in building your digital strategy. Chances are, however, you remain uncertain which experiences should be mapped. Thankfully, another advantage of this tool is flexibility. Experience Maps may be used to document experiences from simple to complex, from physical to digital, and where one or any number of users are involved. This is mainly due to the fact that an Experience Map follows a modular principle; you choose which aspects to map according to your specific experience and data. Some examples of mappable experiences include:
A customer’s web-shopping experience:
Mappable user aspects: actions, goals, emotions, pain points and satisfaction levels.
Mappable business aspects: features, goals, issues and usage statistics.
A stock-management experience between the head office, stock manager, and suppliers:
Mappable aspects for each user: touchpoints, actions, goals, pain points and environment.
Mappable business aspects: goals, issues.
The sales experience between your best sales representative and a customer:
Mappable Sales Rep aspects: tools, actions, goals, beliefs, pain points.
Mappable customer aspects: touchpoints, actions, opinions, emotions and satisfaction levels.
Experience Map depicting a website’s Insurance enrollment process. Through the map analysis, the team identified that its current enrolling process leaves users on their own during the information gathering process. This proved to be a great opportunity area to digitize because this process not only drives purchase completion, it was also a source of user-stress that resulted in site abandonment.
Using an Experience Map as a starting point for your organization’s digital strategy allow stakeholders to be immersed in an inclusive process. Organizations save time and money by making smarter decisions based on business research instead of on personal perceptions.
To learn more about how this process can benefit your organization’s mobile strategy and to learn how Propelics can help you implement Experience Maps to deliver awesome digital solutions, please check out our Scoping and Prototype Kickstart and our Enterprise Mobile Roadmap Kickstart. Or, you can sign-up for a complimentary consultation to help plan your next steps and get you well on your way to mobile success!