Creating an Experience Map

Recently I practiced Experience Mapping, as detailed in Chapter 4 of Continuous Discovery Habits.

The exercise gave me a footing to prioritize one persona for interviews. The other participants enjoyed how interactive the session felt and better understood the other teams.

I am new to my team’s domain (employee onboarding) and there are several personas involved (e.g., IT, HR, Hiring Manager, and New Hire).

A cross sectional group of co-workers attended the 1.75 hour interactive session. The attendees were stakeholders and my engineering team. Ten people total.

I set up a mural board with space for each person to create their own experience map. I also sweated what to experience map and settled on “what happens during pre-boarding”? Where preboarding is from the candidate accepting the offer to the first day at the job.

The session had two parts:

  1. Individually create experience maps
  2. Synthesize the maps together

The first part can be asynchronous, but I do not recommend until participants understand Experience Maps.

Before creating the maps, someone asked if they could use post-its and words. I said yes. My mistake. Most people’s ‘maps’ were not visual.

My second mistake was trying to synthesize all the different personas into one map. With four personas, the map quickly became overwhelming.

To solve both of these problems, one team member stayed for a couple extra hours and we created a map for each persona.

The final output was useful because one persona is clearly ripe for innovation and we had a “complete” view of the new hire’s experience.

After emailing a summary, one participant asked how we should maintain and update the maps. I am not 100% sure yet, but can't wait for the interviews to give me reason.

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