The other day a university student named Maria Hernando wrote to ask me my opinion about the relationship between User Journey Maps, Customer Journey Maps, and User Experience Maps … and how a mental model diagram might relate to any one of them.
I told Maria that I think of the maps as the same, or similar enough. The maps try to represent an actual example of how a person (or persona) went through and did something they wanted to do. The maps are generally chronological, moving forward through the hours of the persona’s actions one stage at a time. I told her that I think the phrase “experience map” came about because we want to be agnostic of whether the persona was using digital tools or not, or a combination of tools. The map represents the journey a person takes from the idea of accomplishing something to having accomplished that thing in the end. We want to see how it all hangs together from the persona’s perspective.
Behavioral audience segments can become personas if you assign a name and a face. However, they are not necessarily one-to-one. You might want to make a couple of personas to represent different demographic or purchasing aspects of one behavioral audience segment. In this JohnnyHolland post, The Cast of Personas, I describe how some of those characters can be the same across different scopes.
At the end of a workshop about person-focused research, someone asked “So, why do people decide to buy an iPhone versus an Android phone?” Smiling, I turned to the rest of the people in the room and asked them to answer. Silence ensued. This post, first published as How to Keep Designers from Defaulting, tries to remind JohnnyHolland readers of the perennial design research assumption: evaluation.
Many products are still technology driven. Your organization invents something no one else does. The rest of the process goes like this: I have this tail. I put it on the donkey. I spend money testing and fixing the tail to get it closer to what the donkey wants it to do. In Most Products Are Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, first published in JohnnyHolland, I write about trying to design with a person’s real situation in mind rather than a solution. Read More
Leaders don’t want to waste resources. They want to know the organization has done everything possible to ensure success and done everything possible to discover concealed opportunities. Notice the focus on the organization, almost forgetting about the people the organization serves. Originally published as a JohnnyHolland post, Bosses Seek Confidence and Avoid Risks, suggests taking a minute to see from the viewpoint of your boss.
For the most part, people I run across have a strictly evaluative understanding of user research. Finding Empathy Through Generative Research, originally published on JohnnyHolland, seeks to introduce an additional way of framing the research you do for your organization, without the “user” or the “service” involved. Read More
Picking out an actual “guiding principle” from a transcript is difficult. A guiding principle is a sub-conscious philosophy that guides how a person makes a decision. When you look at a transcript, the words “I believe,” “I think,” or “my philosophy” sometimes trick you into thinking that you’re looking at a guiding principle. But this is not always the case. Here is a perfect example. It’s a page from an architecture firm’s web brochure. The page is titled “Our philosophy.” Read More
I was recently helping a few people create audience segments for their projects. It’s so hard to get outside the normal way of thinking about people by title or role or demographic. As a way of getting past that, and additionally as a way of emphasizing that audience segments are merely a way to help you talk to a wider swath of people than you might get simply by selecting by role, I suggested thinking of each segment as a character. Like, you know, “Oh, Mike–he’s a character!” Someone who is larger than life will help you look around the edges of the role-defined world. (One of the people I was helping works in an industry where some of the workforce they are studying is referred to as “roughnecks,” which just begs for the creation of characters!) Furthermore, thinking of these segments as characters in a movie will help you slip away from generalizations and focus on a particular set of extraordinary fictional personalities. Read More