Capture Emotion in Journey Maps
Journey maps are powerful tools, especially in evaluating customer experiences. One important aspect of journey mapping that should not be overlooked is capturing the emotions of the user at a given point in their experience. It’s easy to forget that, the digital world in which we build our solutions, has people at its core. Our focus on technology and techniques can cloud the source of our efforts. Journey mapping without an emotional component tends to be lacking in the most critical point of the exercise - empathy for the user.
We build digital experiences for people. We build them to inform. We build them to transact. We build them to delight. Journey mapping is a wonderful tool for understanding the opportunity to better your customer’s experience.
If you are new to journey maps, consider them a visual illustration of a user’s needs. How they experience the current solution to those needs, and their emotional state based on that experience, are key components to a journey map. The details of the user’s needs are typically captured by a focused group of subject matter experts (SME), or more valuably, through contextual inquiry research (documenting a user’s interactions in their contextual environment).
The power of a journey map is that it illustrates a large body of research in a simple-to-digest format. It highlights people’s points of frustration, fear, enjoyment and delight, giving insight to where adjustments can be made to overcome negatives and enhance positives. Because journey maps document contextual interactions, we typically see opportunities for enhancements outside of the scope of the digital space, but within the overall flow of a customer’s brand experience.
Whether you undertake a journey mapping exercise yourself, or with the help of a UX pro, please be sure to capture your user’s emotions at each experience touchpoint. Seeing and understanding their emotions creates empathy for their situations. What you decide to do with that information is the topic of my next post.