How to evaluate a journey map?
How worthy is a journey map? What aspects are to consider? In this article you learn about the six most relevant aspects to consider when evaluating a journey map.
Journey maps differ in many ways, depending on their focus, how they have been created and who has created them. Evaluating journey maps can be difficult, especially if you are restricted in time. So here come the six most important aspects that help you decide how valuable a journey map is and how much you can trust the content.
1. What’s the state?
Current-state maps describe how someone experiences an existing service or physical/digital product. Future-state journey maps visualize the potential experience someone might have with a not-yet-existing service or a physical or digital product.
2. What’s the data base?
Another relevant point is the basis for a journey map, whether it depends on research or assumptions. Assumption-based journey maps are journey maps with content that is based on inference and not research data. They are a good starting point, but they should always be tested with relevant stakeholders and evolve eventually into a research-based journey map through research or prototyping.
Research-based journey maps are journey maps with content that is based on research data collected from relevant stakeholders. These are the maps that should be consulted for making decisions.
3. What’s the level of detail?
Journey maps can be high-level or detailed perspective, depending on how detailed the steps are described. The more you zoom out, the longer the experience you illustrate, though with less details. The more you zoom in, the time span of the experience is shorter, but with more details.
4. What’s the focus?
A product-centered journey map represents an interaction between a customer with a service, physical or digital product, or a brand. These journey maps leave out all steps outside the reach of a company. They can be useful to illustrate a specific and rather detailed experience, such as the onboarding experience to a software or to visualize a very high-level experience, such as customer lifecycle maps. Experience-centered journey maps reflect the situational context and show how touchpoints are embedded in the overall experience. It can lead to better insights of what people really want to achieve and not only how they interact with a company.
5. Who’s the actor of interest?
Journey maps always have a main actor, illustrated by a persona. A persona is a rich description of a fictional person who exemplifies a specific group of people. Even though personas are fictional, they help make groups of people with similar service needs more understandable.
6. How helpful are the visualizations?
A customer journey map is often supported by rich media, as images, graphs etc. These visualizations make it easier for the team to “step into the shoes” of different customers. There are several options for visualizing. Which ones are useful depends on the subject matter of the project and sometimes lanes must be altered to serve the project’s purpose.
Read to give it a try? We've prepared a demo project for you on Smaply, perfect for you to play around with a real-life project and get a better understanding of what's important about a journey map.