The goal of any design is to meet the needs of the users. Any design that doesn’t meet the users’ needs is not a successful one. Tech, generally, is for problem-solving; this shows how important it is that before any skilled designer starts to work, they properly consider the needs of the product’s users and how their design would meet those needs. The same goes for UX designers.
On this note, we shall introduce the term “UX Mapping”. This process is very important because it gives the UX designer a clear view of what to do, and even how to go about doing them. If you are a UX designer or an aspiring one, this article is for you, as you will be learning some things about UX Mapping.
What is UX Mapping?
The first thing to note about UX Mapping is that it is a process; what this means is that a lot goes into before it brings about the desired results. To capture the whole picture of your product (design), the UX designer has to plan (in this case, map) out how the design would look at the end of the day. So, UX Mapping is a process in UX Design where the designer visualizes what the end users of the product in question would experience as they use the product.
It is a useful and powerful technique that helps the designer to understand the needs, motivations, and concerns of the end users of the product. It also visualizes the relationship between the brand and the user, and vice versa.
So, in UX Mapping, the designer figures out what the exact needs of the end users are, as far as the product he is creating is concerned. In the process of this mapping, the designer has the chance to get feedback from reviews to know areas in the design journey that need to improve.
Since UX means User Experience, it is only sensible that the experience of the user is seriously considered before building any product. This is why this process (also called Experience Mapping) is needed to build a level of true understanding required to improve their experience as they use the product.
How to Create a UX Map
There are different steps to creating a UX map, and this section will lead you into those stages. They include: Creating a Persona, Defining Customer Stages, Defining Customer Interaction, Conducting Research, Identifying Possible Problems, and Solving those Problems.
- Creating a Persona: You have to understand who your target audience is by creating a persona. This way, you can deeply understand what the needs of your customers are, and know how to go about solving them with your design.
- Defining Customer Stages: There are certain stage-to-stage goals your customers seek to achieve by using your product, and these affect their overall experience with the product. While mapping a UX Map, you must identify these customer stages/phases to help in mapping out the overall user experience that your customers get.
- Defining Customer Interaction: With what touchpoints do your customers interact with your organization from start to finish as they use the design product? This is where you investigate that; allowing you to create products that make their interactions easy. Examples of these touchpoints are: Creating an Account, Buying a Product, Contacting Support, etc. When you do UX Mapping, you understand the various touchpoints needed for that design and you create them.
- Conducting Research: Another thing that UX Mapping affords you is the opportunity to carry out customer research. You are even able to interact with the possible users, thereby knowing what and what to do as you test your product and discover areas to improve on.
- Identifying Possible Problems: Newly created things (designs, in this case) would most likely come with problems. So, doing a UX map would help identify those (possible) problems early enough. Knowing a problem is the first step to solving it.
- Solving Possible Problems: After identifying possible problems, you now have the chance to plan how to fix them. Without this step, your UX Mapping is incomplete.
10 Importance of UX Mapping
- Understanding the Customer: User Experience Mapping allows you to understand your target customers better. You understand their pain points and what they go through. This helps you know how to help them.
- Gives You a Panoramic View: Having a UX Mapping done is important because you get a bird’s-eye view of the whole project. This way, you don’t just dive into something that would eventually turn out unsuccessful, for instance.
- Build Quicker Conversion Rates: When customers get what they want by using your product, they trust you enough to pay for your products. UX Mapping helps to ensure that their needs are indeed met.
- Helps Retain Customers: The goal of any design is to meet the needs of customers. UX Mapping helps to ensure that this goal is met. When a design meets this goal, customers are happy and they stay with you.
- Encourages Teamwork: They say “Two heads are better than one”. Correct.
However, in the case of UX Mapping, more than two heads are usually put together to achieve the goal of the design. During the period of testing, where customers give feedback that require improvements to be made, team members come together to birth solutions.
- Points Out Gaps Between Channels and Departments: In the process of UX Mapping, the gaps between channels and departments are identified. When this happens, measures are put in place to fill these gaps for the greater good to be achieved.
- Adds Value to Design: There is a clear difference between a design that a UX map was created for, and one that wasn’t. The value in the former would be more profound than that in the latter. This is majorly because, in the process of UX Mapping, improvements are made where necessary.
- Connection With the User: By taking the time to understand the goals, pain points, emotions, and intentions of the users, the UX designer develops a connection with them, thereby making it easy to create something that meets their exact needs. “Empathy” is the word here.
- Builds Research Muscles: For UX Mapping to happen, the designer has to do proper research to understand the customer. This helps to build the designer’s research muscles which will be useful even after the particular design.
- Gives Your Brand a Good Face: When people know that your brand takes the time to understand them (thereby giving them products that meet their very needs), they become confident in your brand. This is one of the importance of UX Mapping: it helps to make sure you meet customers’ needs and earn trust while at it.
Finally, just as a map is there to lead you the right way, a UX Map is there for the same purpose. With UX Mapping, you don’t go the wrong way of creating bad designs for your customers. A serious UX designer should take UX Mapping very seriously, as that is one of the differences between a mediocre UX design and an excellent UX design.