Guide to UX Mapping Methods

What is UX mapping?

A UX map is a powerful technique of visualizing the entire experience of the end-users with a brand, app or any product. User experience mapping allows UX designers to understand customer motivations, hesitations, needs and concerns.

Most enterprises or brands are adept at gathering data about their users; they all have design KPIs to track. However, data alone miserably fails to communicate the user experiences and frustrations. A story can do that, and a user experience map is one of the best storytelling tools.

UX mapping makes use of visuals and storytelling to illustrate the relationship a user has with a brand. The story is told from the customer’s perspective and offers insight into the complete user experience. As a result, it helps brands better understand and address the pain points and needs of the target audience.

Simply put, mapping out your customers’ journey offers your business the best chance to see how your business or brand engages with a potential customer and moves through the various touchpoints of the sales process. In addition, it gives companies the chance to determine the points of friction and remove the problems that have been identified. Last but not least, the user journey map is constantly reviewed to make sure that there are no new points of friction that need resolution.

Reasons to use UX mapping

User experience mapping aims to comprehend what customers are going through when they’re interacting with a brand or business. The ultimate aim is to improve customer experience quality, which is vital because 84% of companies have claimed that enhancing their customer experiences has boosted their revenue.

With the competition extremely strife in the digital world, businesses cannot take chances or shortcuts to listen to customers. Utilizing UX mapping technique, you can –

  • Get a bird’s eye view of the entire journey of your customers
  • Resolve specific hurdles faced by your customers and understanding where additional developments are required to simplify customer journey paths
  • Increase customer retention rate
  • Build higher and faster customer conversion rates by minimizing negative user experiences
  • Understand the fallout points and hurdles faced by customers, and take steps to resolve those so that customers can be enticed to be back on board
  • Reveal the gaps between various departments and channels
  • Build a better brand reputation and greater market visibility by ensuring a smooth and enjoyable customer journey

UX mapping methods

There are different UX mapping methods used in UX design, and these visual techniques help understand desired outcomes and goals. The type of method that you’ll use depends on your target audience.

Read along to explore the four standard UX mapping methods and when to use them:

1. Experience mapping

Experience map focuses on the understanding of general human behavior to achieve a specific goal. The primary characteristic is that it is service and product agnostic. You can understand the experience of your user without taking into consideration the actual product. It depicts the journey of the customer in chronological order.

Why use it:

  • For getting a generalized understanding of the behavior of your customers
  • To facilitate desired outcomes by minimizing negative customer experience
  • To identify the reasons for churn and addressing them

When should you use it?

Typically, experience maps are used before you’ve started designing the product. It’ll help you to understand how your target audience is solving potential problems without the product. This will enable you to identify opportunities and design a product that will solve negative experiences.

2. Empathy mapping

An empathy map is a tool that is used to assess and articulate what you know about a particular user type. It helps to understand the mindset of the users and visually represent what they might want to say, do, think or feel. This understanding allows UX/UI designers in creating a shared knowledge in their design decision-making.

Why use it:

  • For establishing an alignment and understanding about a specific user type
  • To build empathy for your target audience
  • To capture the persona of the users and communicating it by illustrating their behaviours, attitudes and pain points

When should you use it?

You should use empathy mapping at the start of the designing process; and, usually after the initial user research.

3. Service design (blueprint) mapping

Service design (blueprint) mapping visualizes the relationship between various service components, including props, people and processes. All of these relate to touchpoints in the customer journey.

You can consider service design mapping as part two of the customer journey mapping. Blueprints are helpful in complicated scenarios and are ideal if you have taken an omnichannel approach or need a cross-functional effort.

Why use it:

  • For identifying optimization opportunities and discover weaknesses to resolve
  • To bridge the efforts between cross-departments
  • To create one shared understanding of how service is provided to your customers by breaking down the silos

When should you use it?

When mapping the user experience using the service design (blueprint) method, you can use it after customer journey mapping.

4. Customer journey mapping

A customer journey map focuses on the user’s interaction with the specific service or product. It is utilized for comprehending the pain points and needs of the customers and addressing them.

Customer journey mapping starts by compiling a list of user actions and goals. Then, it takes into account what users go through when accomplishing a particular purpose.

When to use it:

  • To point towards customer journey touchpoints that either delight or cause pain
  • To better understand the customer journey to improve user experience

When should you use it?

A customer journey map can be used at any point during the design process. Therefore, it can be used throughout the product’s design cycle to determine how customers respond to the product.

How to create a UX map?

1. Creation of user persona

Understand who your customers are, how they react to your brand and what they need by creating a persona.

2. Defined customer stages

Customer stages refer to goal-oriented user actions, and it illustrates the goals and motivations of your customers.

3. Defined user interaction

A touchpoint is basically whenever a customer interacts with your business. A Touchpoint is not only subscribing to a newsletter, buying your serive, or create an account.For better clarity, you must define your list of touchpoints.

5. Research and identification of friction points

The UX map will allow you to get the overall picture of your customer’s journey with your product or service. Moreover, you can find out the friction points by defining the customer persona and highlighting customer stages.

6. Resolving friction points

Once you’ve discovered the friction points, it’s time to resolve them so that your customers don’t have a negative user experience. Again, UX mapping will help you take the right actions.

Closing thoughts

UX mapping can significantly help you improve your customers’ journey by addressing the pain points and friction points. In addition, it can help provide your customers with a fantastic user experience. These maps assist brands and businesses in improving user relationships and augmenting user retention rates.

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