To help students catalog the path of a user, object or system in order to better understand it and look for design opportunities.
about 30 minutes just on this tool (Sample lesson below)
groups of 3-4 students are ideal; Can be done with whole class
Why use a journey map?In gaining empathy for a person or understanding of one’s process through an experience, considering the details of that process can illuminate areas for potential insights. Creating a journey map is an excellent way to systematically think about the steps or milestones of a process. A journey map can be used for your own empathy work, or to communicate your findings to others.
How to use a journey map?Create diagrams that capture multiple observations, e.g. a map of a user’s day, a map of a user’s experience, or a map of how a product moves through a space (from manufacturing to store shelf to user’s hands). Consider a process or journey that is relevant, or even tangential to, your problem space. For example, you could consider your user’s morning breakfast routine.You could capture every event of one person’s exercise in a month – and consider who she was with, where she came from, where she exercised, and where she went afterwards. Or perhaps you are developing a dating service website; you could document every communication between two people before the first date. One important concern is to be comprehensive within the variables you choose to capture. (Don’t overlook the opening of the window shades in the morning breakfast routine.) What seems meaningless, could actually be the nugget that develops into a stunning insight.
Organize the data in a way that makes sense: a timeline of events, a number of parallel timelines that allows for easy comparison, a series of pictures, or a stack of cards. Then look for patterns and anomalies and question why those themes or events occurred. Push yourself to connect individual events to a larger context or framework. It is often the pairing of an observation with the designer’s knowledge and perspective that yields a meaningful insight.
Sample LessonIntroduce Journey Map:
- We do this to help us understand the context around our user and what design opportunities exist for him/her.
Large Group Example:
- Either pre-load an example or draw one on the board with student input. Sample questions might be: talk about the life of a tomato to get on a pizza, or a student's journey to get to school, or the president's journey to get to the White House.
Small group work:
- Have students work in small groups to map the journey of their user(s). Encourage students to include another dimension to their map - this might be what the user is feeling, who the user interacts with, what is slowing the user down, etc. Students could include this aspect in their map as the user goes along.
-How did that activity go? What could we do to make it be better next time?