Summary: Empathy maps, customer journey maps, experience maps, and service blueprints depict different processes and have different goals, yet they all build common ground within an organization.
Four Types of Mapping
This article gives an overview of four commonly used mappings, their defining characteristics, and when to use which:
- Empathy mapping -help team members understand the user’s mindset.
- Customer journey mapping – focus on a specific customer’s interaction with a product or service.
- Experience mapping – generalize the concept of customer-journey maps across user types and products.
- Service blueprinting – are counterparts to customer journey maps, focused on the employees.
All UX mappings have two-fold benefits. First, the process of creating a map forces conversation and an aligned mental model. Second, the shared artifact resulting from the mapping can be used amongst your team, organization, or partners to communicate an understanding of your user or service. This artifact can also become the basis for decision making as the team moves forward.
Using one mapping method over another will not make or break a project. Ideally, a combination of all four will be used as needed at different points in your process, to create an in-depth understanding of your users and organization.