As you’re perfecting the way you operate your business, you want to identify anything you can do to improve the user experience. Even if you’ve worked tirelessly to make the most efficient processes and system flows for your company, you may be missing some of the most important key elements of the user experience. Watch our video to learn about the system we’ve developed that will help you understand the real user experience of your processes.
The User Journey Method of Building a System
A User’s Perspective
The fifth of our seven methods is what we call a user journey method. The goal for a user journey is we take the perspective of one single user from ‘they don’t know us’ through to a ‘happily engaged customer’ who is using us. We want to map that process end to end and we want to think about the key moments of truth that happen there. So we want to see the life cycle and I think these moments of truth are really important.
Often as engineers, when we map this process out, and I’ll show you some examples in a moment, we think each step in the process has equal weighting. There are a whole bunch of steps in a lot of processes that customers float through, and there are one or two where if it’s not good, the whole thing dies. So we want to identify where those key moments of truth are.
We often do this on a whiteboard, but we’ll then put it into software and I’ll name some software packages that we use. Often this is done in flowcharts or illustration software. On the Mac I happen to like OmniGraffle and Sketch for this, it works really well. If you’re a Windows user, Visio is excellent. It is a great package for this, but it can be expensive. But if you just go and type in free flowcharting software for Windows, there are heaps of it. You want flowcharting software for this.
Remember the tasks that we had for Aaron before. I’m going to use these tasks as an example in our curry ordering system. Aaron wants to be able to eat curry. He wants to place an order, pay, and pay off an IOU. Let’s start to look at what a user journey method for Aaron might look like.
Fleshing out the detail
These are the steps that Aaron might take. He gets a reminder, he places an order, he can change his order, he makes a payment, he eats and he pays off his IOUs. What we then do, this is a high level thing, we actually start to flesh these out and write in very specific detail exactly what they do. It’s the detail that often gives you some of the insights.
So Aaron receives an email alert at 10am on Friday to buy curry by 11am. In fact that is exactly what happens. We fill this out, I won’t go through and read them, but we fill this out for all of them. We actually say for each box what actually happens. Interestingly as I look through this, we had some observations about this process, people don’t like cold curry.
We need a box in here that comes in there called ‘Remind everyone that the curry has turned up’. A lot of these guys have headphones on and the curry guy walks through and they don’t even know he’s there. They turn up thirty minutes later and the curry is cold again. Even doing this we identified a weakness in our own process.
User journeys can be done many different ways
User journeys – this is a simple, straightforward way to do them, but there are lots of ways. These things can be done in a whole raft of ways. Let me give you some examples. You’re not going to read these, these are just to give you the gist of some of the things that people do.
Here’s a user journey from start to end (see image in video clip) and it’s really focusing on what people’s emotional state is like and the key things they’re worried about and how it is going to happen and where it is going to happen from start to finish through a process. So thinking about people’s emotional states is one way you can do it.
Here’s another example (see image in video clip). This one here, Lego did it, but it’s actually about booking a flight in Heathrow. I don’t know why Lego decided to do it, but that’s ok. It’s before, during and after. It’s each of the steps: I board a plane, I have safety procedures, I take off. How do I feel through each of those steps and essentially rolling through the entire process and getting a concept of what a user would do to go through that.
This is the Alliance software user journey for customers, for you. So we think about, they’re going to research us and the content creation process today is going to help us be found more in the research process. They research us, they evaluate, they decide to purchase, they implement, they want support and review. What are they looking for? We have sat down and thought about our ideal customer, what journey we expect they will go through.
Two more, and then we’ve given you a pretty good batch of processes.
As a result of placing these concepts into practice, you will be able to plug deeper into the details that truly make your business stand out. People respond to a process that seems custom-tailored to them. It goes beyond providing processes that make sense and takes it to a personal level where your customers can feel catered to, as if you understand what they really need, what they are thinking and already have things planned for their benefit.