Learn, explore and generate possible futures in the front-end of design
Does your organization have challenges bridging the research insights and design development phases on experience-based projects? It can be difficult, especially during large scale projects within an organization.
We can all agree that creativity and collaboration are good things, but not everyone is in agreement on what they look like in practice or the best way to support them.
At Stratos, we’ve played a range of roles in the strategic front-end of the innovation process. In our experience, we have found that clients often need more than research insights. They need help bridging the gap between design research and the implementation work streams of their project. If you want to add value to your offering, your role might go beyond that of a design researcher or even a design strategist and become that of a “facilitator of innovation.” Here are some lessons we’ve learned from working on innovation projects:
Experience mapping, a collaborative visioning method, is popular among design strategists complete with its own hashtag, #xmapping. Collaboratively mapping an experience with multiple stakeholders exposes parts of the overall experience that are difficult to predict and articulate. Engaging users and business teams in hands-on activities simultaneously to create a journey map is powerfully strategic and worth exploring.
Experience mapping is a process that aims to visualize a holistic account of your customer’s experience including processes, decisions, and emotions that people feel while interacting with your product or service. It helps companies develop a deep understanding of the people they serve and to put that understanding at the core of their strategic planning.
Let’s navigate change side-by-side.
After a few years of engaging in a range of design research and strategy work, we have started a blog space where we can share what we’ve learned and what we’re up to. We also want to invite a dialogue between other design researchers, strategists, leaders of innovation, members of the continuous improvement community, the user experience community, and beyond. Our goal is to share our thoughts, to share the things we find useful, and to generate conversation across industries.
So you see the value of mapping out your customer’s desired end-to-end experience with your service or product — but how do you go about doing it? There are different ways, but the most efficient and effective method is to invite customers into the process as co-creators of the journey. Hands down, there is no more meaningful way to envision future experiences. You need to invite the people who will use and interact with your product or service into the process of designing (not just testing) the interactions and touchpoints.