- One of the challenges many organizations face is a focus on point solutions, the identification of a single point and development of a clever solution for just that one paint point. However, the products and services that win today tend to provide a coherent, positive and differentiated experience over time and across touchpoints. Let me talk about a product, a service and a touchpoint. This course is actually a good example of all three.
This course is one product that's part of a larger service. The service itself is somewhat ephemeral, access to learning. But the product is tangible. It's the collection of videos. And you access them from many touchpoints, like your phone or your laptop. And a journey map helps a team understand this kind of complex ecosystem as an experience over time. And by an experience over time, it could be the school year or the cycle of product awareness or a patient's journey from health through crisis to maintenance of their condition.
The journey map highlights the key opportunities along that time frame, which can be seeds for concept generation. And it's a powerful tool for the team to keep the users' long view in mind as they design a product or service. To make a customer journey map, it's usually organized around some generalized stages of engagement on a left-to-right axis. The stages tend to vary by industry, but generally go from either low engagement to high engagement or back in time to now.
For example, in services like this one, you'll often see stages like awareness of the product, evaluation, purchase, use, and eventually, advocating for them. But industrial hardware, the stages might be very different. Specification of the product, commitment to build, production, installation of the product, use, maintenance and upgrading the product. To create a journey map for yourself, start with a whiteboard or a long piece of paper and create a horizontal axis with the stages that are relevant for your work.
Let me walk through an example that I've seen in healthcare. I've never had an angioplasty, but it was important for me as part of our project to understand what's the patient journey for an angioplasty. The first thing we thought about was, what is our horizontal axis here? The first was precondition, before you have a heart issue. And then, diagnosis of the heart condition, treatment, monitoring of it in the hospital, and eventually, discharge after the hospital.
So that was the place we started. Then we thought of, who are the people that are on this journey? It's obviously the patient. But at each stage along the journey, they're encountering different people. And they're also at different locations. They start at home, then they're in the ambulance, the ER, and then, if their condition is serious enough, they are taken to the cath lab, where a catheter is put in, and then they go into recovery, and eventually they're released back home.
So now we kind of had the framework for the customer journey. We knew where they were, and we knew who they were encountering. The next stage was for us to think about what are some of the key activities that are happening along the journey? And I'll give one example. There's a lot that's going on. But when the patient comes into the ER, one of the first things that happens is, they need to have their blood tested. So there's a cycle of blood tests that happen, and these cycles continue until the hospital has enough information to decide that the patient can be discharged and go home, or that actually, they do need to have an angioplasty.
After they go through that procedure, they're then in the critical care unit, where their blood again is going to be monitored on very frequent cycles to ensure that they are recovering well. And once that blood is tested and it allows them to move to recovery, they are still having blood tests, but it's on a much less frequent cycle, until everything is solid enough and they're able to go home. This is just one example of thinking about what's going on for somebody in the hospital.
And it's a great framework for us to start asking, where are the opportunities for improvement? How are people feeling? What are the problems? This gives us a great framework for field research. So this framework helps us understand that we do need to talk to the patient, but there's other people in their experience we need to talk to, like the EMT, the nurse, and the doctor. So now we have a solid framework for starting to synthesize our findings from research and to begin to identify where there might be some key pain points that we can address with a solution.
After we've come up with our ideas, we might refine this map to show what the ideal future stay of the hospital and the angioplasty experience will be, where our product or service has improved the experience for the patient, the doctors, the nurse, and maybe even the EMT. When you're making a journey map like this, it usually does not start quite as polished as this is. It usually starts with Post-It notes and markers and a lot of discussion.
So we usually see a journey map starting with that rough horizontal line and a lot of trying to understand what's happening at each point. We generally work with the team to organize the Post-Its into a flow that the team agrees upon and understands. And using markers, we then begin to draw the connections between various elements of the journey, like understanding that this is the patient journey all the way along.
And then we'll use different color markers or different color Post-Its to identify pain points and opportunity areas across the map. You can also generalize this map and take it out with you into the field to ask the patient, the doctor, to give you their thoughts and to put on their colored Post-Its of their pain points. Here's a final example of how this journey might be formally visualized at one stage in the process.
And a framework like this sets you up very well to create a service blueprint once you have a strong concept. We'll talk about that tool later in the course. A journey map is useful as a design thinking foundation at all stages of iteration. At the beginning, it lets you establish your assumptions of your users' mindsets and activities. In research, it allows you to hear from your users, how they see their journey today and the challenges that they face.
As you iterate your design, it reminds you to design for all stages of use. And, at the end, as you communicate the new vision, it provides you a framework for everything, from a pitch to user stories. Please share any journey maps you create in the course discussion group, to keep this dialog going.
The course opens with a definition of design thinking, including the roles and spaces required for success. You will then learn how to be a good design thinking leader, with specific advice on topics from setting goals to engaging the different skill sets and personalities in the room (introverts and extroverts alike). Next, Turi dives into creative collaboration: the heart of design thinking. She covers planning, research, and concept creation, and explains how to create a "service blueprint" that will help make the design a reality. Chapter 4 introduces prototyping techniques to advance the design.
Design thinking is all about collaboration so we've integrated a LinkedIn Group called "Design Thinking: frog + Lynda.com course." Throughout the course, the author will suggest opportunities for you to share what you're learning. You'll be able to participate in course-related discussions through your web browser at https://linkedin.com/groups/7022790 or via the LinkedIn Groups app, which is available for most smartphones. This is a great way to expand your learning and get additional insights from other members taking the course.
- Defining design thinking
- Implementing a design thinking mindset and approach
- Leading design thinking
- Aligning the design team
- Managing creative flow
- Guiding collaboration
- Generating hypothesis
- Prototyping fast and often
- Making a culture change