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World Full Of Maps



When it comes to shaping an experience we need to first lookup and address the experience that is already in place, the two main tools I tend to use for this experience mapping and empathy maps.


Both have been used in other industries for a while, so it may be new to L&D/HR/Employee Experience however it isn’t new product/service designers and customer experience designers.


A whole post alone could be invested into the different tools and techniques that can be used, from product and service design, along with why every L&D team must consist of these skill sets, which I have openly spoke about for a while now, however all that is for another day.


I won’t be going to much into detail on these tools in future posts other than my take on the experience map, however, when it comes to applying design “as” thinking and experience design it’s good to have a basic understanding of what these tools are.

Important note these tools are supposed to be used based on data insight from the business and the actors going through the experience.


Empathy Mapping


This is one you may have seen or even done without knowing it, we would tend to do empathy maps right after we have collected all the data and insight from actors who have gone through the existing experience. This could be a great tool when thinking about your next leadership solution, I tend to use Paul Boag's iteration of the standard empathy map as I feel it allows us to be more specific.

Paul breaks it down into five sections rather than the typical four

  • Tasks - Actual, what is it the actor is trying to do

  • Influences - what are they seeing internal and external that may influence or shape how the actor acts

  • Goals - What’s the end result of the solution

  • Pains - What anxiety do they have to the experience as a whole, frustrations and blockers

  • Feelings- What is the actor feeling and more importantly why and what matters to them



*Paul will be appearing on the second season of the Mindchimp podcast so look out for that


Experience Map


When it comes to experience mapping there are a few tools I tend to borrow from other industries, some I use in the purest form and others I tend to adapt to the environment in which it will be applied. An example could be Larry Keeleys’ 5e framework, while its a great starting point for experiences I feel it has a few blind spots when applied in the corp context.

I tend to overlay my own design flow and experience on top of it to help build a rich and insightful map of how I want the experience to feel and flow in the context of the corp environment. However, before we do any of this we first need to map out the experience as it is now.

Hopefully, by this point, you have all the data insight you need from the actors and business as mentioned above. I am going to use the challenges of recruitment as a quick demo of how I design.

Okay, so here is what a high-level recruitment experience might look like now





It is important to highlight that my take on an experience map is very different from a typical experience map in some respects and if anything I take a lot of steer from a customer journey map.

As you can see here we have the many touchpoints at the top and a brief breakdown of each point and below we have how they generally feel about it.

Ok, let’s have a little fun now, so let’s redesign the above experience from a deeply immersive experience point of view. Remember the true deep immersive take on things tends to be towards the far right of the spectrum. These tend to fall in the realms of immersive theatre, LARP and the super engineered category.

So, the first thing I would do is come up with the concept, let’s apply the concept of an immersive theatre for one check out Felix Barrets "The moonslave" and "Kabeiroi" to get a deeper feel of where am going here.


The concept


Applying the concept of a deep immersive experience of one to say a select group of potential grads it will be a blend of staged and unstaged environments and settings that will incorporate challenges and behaviours that not only aligned to the role but also to the business values. Am experience that could cause doubt as to what is real and not real on that day and when the experience starts and finishes.

(while you might be thinking this would never happen, I have seen something with as much thought and engineering done, is it was forward-thinking company but one we all know)

A rough outline of the day - The grads need to attend three separate interviews or chats spanning the whole of Manchester city centre, the grads goal is to make it to each interview on time. However what the grads don’t know is the assessment isn't the actual meetings its more on the space between them maybe its a conversation on the train, maybe its that old lady who asked you to help her cross the road or maybe it’s the homeless man who asking for spare change anyway you get where am coming from


Mapping the new journey


So we now we have the concept but all great experience start way before we think they do. At this point, I would use the data from the first map (pre-existing experience) and have a look at some of the touchpoints we can and should keep, an example could be applying for the role. While the experience of that touchpoint will look different I would still keep some of the touchpoint such as applying for the role in from the original experience

The next thing to do is get into the detail of designing in more detail… remember we are not building yet!

Now I would love to give you some swanky tool on how to do this but honestly, I tend to break each section of the micro experience (recruitment) into a many nano experiences ie (Applying for the role) then I would look at touchpoints in there like the job description (JD) and try to look how this could fit with my overall concept

  • How would I entice and create curiosity without giving to much away

  • What peaks can we add and where are the dips

  • How and where would this experience start and finish

  • What's the big reveal

  • How does this keep them engaged to the next touchpoint

  • How do we let them down if needed

  • Do we even need a JD?

Once done, I try and storyboard it out with either's sticky notes and pens or I find some software like Custellence, Smaply, Trello or even a basic Excel table would do.

So, there we have it a quick fly view of what maps I use to go from nothing to concept idea and high-level detail, have a play around with it take something you are working on right now and allow your curious creative mind to wonder and let me know what you come up with.


original post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/experience-design-mapping-danny-seals/

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