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Why You Should Care About Journey Map Design

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 02/26/2016

62IPO7VGWF-1Who cares about journey map design? After all, it’s your data that should be taking center stage in your maps. Who cares if it’s glitzy, as long as it shows your findings?

I’ve actually seen posts that make this argument. As if facts and data are all the really matter. But you’ve probably seen what happens when you try to sway your company using facts and data. The end result? Not much.

Even worse, I read a post from somebody who purports to do journey mapping saying exactly this: don’t worry about a pretty journey map, focus on content. But while of course content is important—your journey maps need to accurately communicate the voice of your customer!—design is an essential element to success.

We know as CX professionals that emotions matter (in fact, I wrote a whole post about it). When we design customer experiences, we know to keep the customer in mind at all times. So why not do the same with our journey maps? After all, journey maps are an experience unto themselves – we need to apply these same CX principles to a map.

Driving Change

CX professionals often run into the problem of changing the hearts and minds of leaders and employees alike. A frequent challenge I hear is that leadership just won’t listen to their findings, despite the clear potential benefits. If this happens to you, take a step back, and look at what you’re sharing with your organization. Is it dry columns of numbers in a 9-point font crammed onto PowerPoint slides? Because no matter how good your data is, no one wants to try and decipher it—and more than that, they are much less likely to absorb and understand it if they don’t enjoy looking at it.

Which is where good design comes in. Personally, I have a terrible eye for design—if I did them, all our journey maps would have a nice gaudy green-and-purple layout. Which is why I don’t design our maps. Work with a professional designer who understand not only what looks nice, but what people respond to.

But this isn’t just about journey mapping. Look more broadly at how you’re teaching your organization about CX—are you using those dry 9-point PowerPoints or are you truly immersing them in CX? Are you sharing Excel charts with customers’ pain points or are you showing videos clips of customers explaining the difficulties they have in working with your organization?

If you’re having problems effecting change, maybe the problem isn’t the organization, but how you’re presenting your data—the means, media, and design you use to tell your story.

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