Note: The following maps are the templates I have created for our team, which we use after conducting our research, and before I start wireframes or HiFi designs.
A journey map is a visualization of a person's process to accomplish a goal. Journey mapping starts by compiling a series of user actions into a timeline in its most basic form. Next, the timeline is fleshed out with user thoughts and emotions to create a narrative.
Journey mapping is the first map I start with to get a high level view of the roadmap.
Story mapping allows product teams to understand the customer journey better and prioritize their work. User story mapping enables the team to optimize a product or service. Doing so assists design and devs in building a better product based on the customer's desired outcomes.
Story maps flow from the journey map, so this is the next step I take when I conduct mapping sessions.
Empathy mapping helps our team to visualize user attitudes and behaviors. This assists our team in gaining a deep understanding of end-users. The mapping process also reveals any holes in existing user data.
I utilize empathy mapping when conducting user interviews and interacting with other departments in my organization. This helps me understand the goals and vision of each department and how that aligns with the user's needs.
I also use card sorting when for journey and story mapping. Still, I specifically use it to align statements when I conduct empathy mapping to build this into wireframe mapping.
Mental Modal Diagrams
The last map that I conduct on behalf of the user is a mental model diagram. These diagrams are a great way to capture how the people we design experience a specific area. As an approach, they allow us to clarify people's intents, feelings, and attitudes they bring to the table as they move towards their goals.
I advocate for using these diagrams because it assists in designing for behavioral change. Without this diagram, it makes it harder to understand the user's mindset when interacting with our brand, which prevents developing an accurate engagement strategy.