September 8th, 2021 12:00pm EST
While defining the right problem to solve is one of the most important steps you can take, deciding on the right solution is equally as important.
After your team has filled out your journey map, you’ll need to make the map actionable.
Join our free webinar where you’ll learn about how to properly frame the opportunities on your journey map, discover ideation methods that are great for solution generation, and determine what steps to take after an idea is selected.
- Familiarize yourself with a strategy and approach that leads to results
- Discover ideation methods that are staples at generating diverse and solid ideas
- Reinforce the business impact of journey mapping and how to share its value across your organization
On September 8th, 2021 we held our second webinar on Journey Mapping.
Presenters: Deborah Roberts, UX Designer, Michael Woo, Director of UX.
A live Q&A followed: including Michael Woo, Director of UX, Craig Nishizaki, Head of Business, Head of Business, and Deborah Roberts, UX Designer
Deborah Roberts: Hi everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Welcome to UpTop Health’s second journey mapping webinar, where I’ll be looking at creating solutions from your patient member journey map. Speaking with you today is myself, Deborah Roberts. I am a UX designer at UpTop Health, and I am joined by our director of UX, Michael Woo. For those of you who are unfamiliar, UpTop Health is a UX design agency. We have strived to create effortless digital experiences for healthcare payers, providers, and their customers, with a focus on strategy, design, and development.
So here is an overview of what we’ll cover today. I’ll be taking you through a quick review of the journey map process, how to narrow in on an opportunity, different ideation techniques that help you to think outside of the box, and how to prioritize all the solutions that are generated. Then Michael will walk you through how to create a concept design, the value of creating a prototype and running usability testing, and the resulting business impact and outcomes. We’ll end with a Q&A at the end.
So let’s do a quick review of the journey mapping process. For a deeper dive into how to create a journey map and how it fits into the larger UX process, you can check out our first webinar on journey mapping titled How to Leverage Journey Mapping to increase patient and member engagement.
At a high level, a journey map is a visualization of the series of interactions a person has with a company while attempting to accomplish a goal over a time and across channels. Journey mapping is so valuable because breaking down each step of your customer’s journey allows you to uncover gaps where users may be experiencing pain points or confusion. Creating the map with a team and sharing it across the organization helps to create a common goal and vision for your product or service. This process also encourages cross-discipline collaboration and builds empathy and a greater understanding of the relationship that the customer has with the experience and your organization.
In our first journey mapping webinar, we used this example scenario to build out our journey map. So now we’re going to pick up where we left off as we move into ideation. In our scenario, we are on the customer experience team for a large payer company. Our goal is to improve the experience for users trying to find an in-network specialty doctor.
In our journey map preparation, we made sure to include a diverse team to provide different viewpoints on the customer experience. We decided to create a current state hypothesis-first journey map, where we visualize the experience customers had when attempting to accomplish a goal within our company as it exists today. Because this was hypothesis-first, we didn’t conduct user research like user interviews or contextual inquiry before hand, but we will validate with users later through usability testing, and as a part of your preparation, you could also conduct interviews with with internal stakeholders who might have insight into different aspects of the customer experience.
Some things to keep in mind. When creating a journey map, leading with a key persona tied to critical business KPIs is a great place to start. Having a strong business case will help to move your initiative forward internally. However, a journey map should be created for each persona that are accomplishing different goals and don’t forget the minority personas. Inclusiveness requires us to account for all of your users and it’s been shown that designing for edge cases could actually lead to innovations and improvements for everyone.
So this is our example persona, which we use to create the initial journey map. Gillian is a 47-year-old business owner with two teenagers and a husband who is employed. Gillian is very busy dealing with her business and caring for her kids, but she loves running and making time for that in her day. Unfortunately, Gillian fell the last time she was out for a run and hurt her knee pretty badly, so her goals and motivations going into this scenario are that she wants to run her fourth marathon, she wants to be pain-free while doing so, and knowing she needs to see a doctor, she wants it to be in close location to her business and home. Gillian doesn’t have a ton of disposable income, and going to the doctor in general makes her a little bit anxious.
We created our journey map by moving through the current site with this particular persona and scenario in mind. We noted Gillian’s steps as she moved through the process of finding an in-network orthopedic provider and filled in the themes for analysis which included the touchpoint or channel where or how Gillian is engaging with the parent company. Customer actions, things Gillian needs to do to move to the next step, actors or people from the payer company that Gillian will engage with along their journey, questions such as things Gillian needs answered before they are willing to move to the next step, customer emotions, the mood of Gillian at each particular touchpoint, and the pain points which are the frustrations and annoyances that spoil the experience. At a high level, we also talked about generating opportunities which are the design enhancements you can implement to address the problems identified.
Today we’re going to get into more detail about the activities that we use at UpTop Health to help you to flare and capture a wide variety of ideas and then narrow in to define the right opportunity to solve for, and we wanted to highlight that design isn’t just about beauty, it’s about relevance and meaningful results. As we look at the problem areas identified in our journey map, we want to see where they might align with our business goals and KPIs as we start to define the opportunities.
After creating the initial map with your team, we like to run an exercise called expert talks and how might we statements, where you invite subject matter experts across different disciplines in your organization to analyze the math and dive deep into any critical parts of the flow. So we want to capture unique advantages, biggest risks, customer feedback, previous efforts, and technical feasibility. This not only helps to uncover more insights but involving key stakeholders allows them to feel heard and also have a hand in the process. The goal of this activity is to refine our journey map and create how might we questions to add to the map. As the SMEs are talking, each participant will take the pain points identified from the subject matter experts and the journey map and turn them into how might we questions. Framing them in an open way like this allows you to be more open to possibilities when moving into ideation. For example, a subject matter expert might share that the customer service is getting a lot of calls about provider information and availability. This pain point could be translated into how might we show provider availability and details.
So after finishing the expert talks, each team member has about three minutes to share their how might we questions and place them on the board. We usually wait until the third person has finished presenting before starting to group similar how might we notes into themes. From there you can add notes to the categories or create new ones as needed as the rest of the group shares. This helps to move through the activity the most efficiently.
An activity that we often start with in workshops before reviewing the journey map is an exercise called the long-term goal, where we ask participants where they want to be in two years’ time. After grouping the how might we questions by theme, we ask participants to review the long-term goal and think about which how might we would be most useful in helping them reach it. Then we give them each a group of dots and ask them to vote on the most promising how might we questions that would get them closer to their goal.
We discuss the results as a group and incorporate the most voted how might we questions onto the map. Then we’ll dig into the most important customer and target moments. The decision maker or executive will need to pick the top how might we’s to move forward with into ideation. If you’re doing a more narrow project, you might just pick one to move forward with, or if you’re doing an envisioning of a future state, you might pick the top three or four to incorporate into your design.
While you’re discussing the important customer or target moments, it’s important to keep KPIs top of mind. These can span employee engagement, quality of operations, engagement retention and churn, customer support or self-service, customer satisfaction and brand advocacy and reputation. So for example in our story, one of the opportunities that was selected matched back to a pain point and KPI uncovered in the expert talks, and this was that the percentage rate connecting customers with care providers was below expectations. [inaudible 00:09:41] showed that the time spent on task equaled an average of 50 minutes and customer service was receiving complaints about the lack of functionality. After discussing as a group, the decider chose this opportunity to move forward into ideation.
If you want to focus your opportunity further, you can create a POV or point of view statement. To craft your POV statement, pull over the chosen how might we and bring together the three elements of the user, the need, and the goal or insight into a single sentence. Your POV should provide focus and frame the problem, inspire your team, and provide a reference for evaluating competing ideas. In working with large organizations, we’ve often seen that they can be quick to accept that there needs to be change, but it can take a while to start moving. So next we’re going to share some of our favorite methods and techniques to help you kickstart ideation and hopefully make the process less daunting.
Before you start, it’s always a good idea to have your collaboration tools on hand. If you’re running an ideation session in person, you’ll need things like sticky notes, sharpies and loose pieces of paper. If you’re collaborating digitally, there are some great programs like Miro and Figma that have real time group editing availability. It’s also a great idea to prepare beforehand with any prompts or handouts that participants may need to refer back to during the activities, and make sure you have a diverse group of participants across disciplines for ideation. Someone from a technical background may approach a problem differently than an executive and so on, so having a variety of backgrounds represented ensures that you’ll end up with a richer set of solutions.
An easy ideation method to start with is brainstorming. Set a time limit with the goal to come up with as many ideas as possible to solve your chosen how might we or point of view statement. This can be anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the complexity of the problem. Aim to capture as many ideas as possible and encourage people to defer judgment and try to think of wild or out of the box ideas as new ways of thinking often leads to creative leaps and things can always be toned down later if necessary. Capture the ideas on sticky notes and group them by theme.
We can go a step further by remixing ideas. After compiling a number of ideas through brainstorming or brain dumping where you’re generating ideas individually, you take the ideas from others and start adding to or going off of their idea to create new paths. With crazy eight’s, you perform a fast sketching exercise where you sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes. To start, you can fold a piece of paper in half, in half again, and then one more time to create eight boxes. Set a timer for eight minutes and draw eight different ideas. That’s one minute per idea which actually goes pretty fast. The goal is to push beyond your first idea, frequently the least innovative, and to generate a wide variety of solutions to your challenge.
Mash-up or concept monsters help you generate ideas by combining two different elements together. An effective way to do this is taking an established platform outside of your industry like Uber, Airbnb or Stitch Fix and see if you can apply something one of them is doing well to solve your problem. So for example, Turo is essentially Airbnb for cars. Local people can put their car out there to rent for other people in their area.
With S.C.A.M.P.E.R, each letter stands for a different thinking technique that encourages creative thinking and continuous improvement. For example, C stands for combine, where you try to combine ideas, processes, or products into one more efficient output. So an example of this would be a cellphone integrated with a camera. You can go through each letter as a sketching exercise, or have S.C.A.M.P.E.R on hand to reference as needed during ideation exercises like crazy eight’s as a catalyst for inspiration.
So now we’re going to run through a quick demo of how you would perform the crazy eight’s exercise. The guidelines are to push yourself to think of the craziest solutions and push past your first ideas. You want to capture as many ideas as possible, and explore if there are cool ways to combine ideas. Ideally, you want to sketch different ideas, not just eight variations of the first. Stick figures are great, words will do, and most importantly, there is no bad idea.
Here you see the crazy eight’s exercise in action. Again in our scenario, we are looking at how might we easily compare provider information so our members can make an informed choice. In the exercise, some of the ideas that were explored included sending users through a wizard that would lead to specialist recommendations, different ways to compare providers such as in a table or showing similar providers to the one you’re looking at, think Amazon-related items, and an algorithm that would surface top providers based on your location or network.
After doing some of these preliminary sketching activities, you can take an idea further in a solution sketch. This can be a new idea, a combination idea or even include other people’s ideas. Sketch out how this idea might look across a flow. Each section is a new step, guide us through your experience, and think about what is new and interesting. Add some side notes to replace the explanation. Words are important but ugly drawings are okay.
There can be many great ideas that come out of solution generation, but now it’s time to prioritize. As you start comparing the different concepts, it can be helpful to keep in mind that the sweet spot for innovation hits on these three things. One, a desirable solution that your customer needs, two, a feasible solution with your current operational or technological capabilities, and three, a viable solution that is profitable and sustainable for your business.
After everyone has finished their solution sketches, we like to put them up on a wall as an art museum of ideas. Each participant presents their solution to the group, and after everyone is done sharing, have the group review silently and dot vote their favorites. If you’re in a group where one person dominates or holds sway, you can also complete this exercise anonymously by having the group review the sketches and dot vote first before the participants present their sketches. This can help the most innovative ideas move forward without bias.
After you finish the dot voting, you can prioritize further by taking the top concepts and mapping them on an impact versus effort diagram. This helps you to evaluate each solution against the effort of implementation, and the impact on the user experience. You’ll want to make sure you have representation from a diverse team. Development, product, design, and an executive to estimate each idea against effort and impact on the business. Ideally, your team should be looking for ideas that fit in the quick wins quadrant and the decider or executive usually makes the ultimate decision about which solutions to prioritize for the project. So now I’ll turn it over to Michael, who will lead you through how to turn your winning solution into a concept design.
Michael Woo: Thanks Deborah, that was great, and hello everyone. So after we’ve defined an opportunity to solve for on our journey map and have ideated on many possible solutions, as Deborah just walked us through, we’re ready to take the one promising solution or concept to the next level. We call this phase concept design.
Defining the critical path. In our experience, we feel it’s extremely valuable to define a critical path before setting out. Defining the critical path means framing in the experience around the main goal of the user and the actions that they take in achieving that goal. This is especially important with envisioning projects which tend to be more complex and larger, so you can help fence in the scope and stakeholders’ expectations for your deliverable. Defining a critical path can work for both large and small projects alike. If your concept design is relegated to a single page, ask whether it might benefit a user to include as part of a workflow any steps that come either before or after.
Secondly, it’s important to generate a brief story or user scenario to help users contextualize and relate to the experience. You will want to identify the persona that the story will be about, find out what is motivating this person to take action, what task or goal is this person trying to accomplish, are there any relevant demographics about this person to pull into the story to make them more relatable or human? What is the main pathway that this person takes to complete the task? And finally, include and highlight key user interactions or potential points of friction for how your new design is solving these problems.
With a story in hand, proper planning at this juncture about what type of fidelity you’ll need will help set the stage for a more successful concept design and prototype. If your organization has a design system or UI kit already that you use to generate designs, you can start there and save some time by having a good framework in place and building off of that. Otherwise, determine if low, mid, or high-fidelity wireframes are needed for audience which should include business stakeholders and test participants. It could also be true that designers of the project will need to generate each of these fidelities to arrive at the final output as it’s pretty normal in the design process. Time to deliver, resources or capabilities are usually a major factor here.
Here is an example of low-fidelity sketches. Good for quick, high level validation of flows or interactions and can be used for rudimentary prototypes and ad hoc guerrilla testing.
Here is an example of mid-fidelity wireframes. For those who might be lacking in resources or capabilities, there are many UI kits that are free or that you can purchase to make wire-framing faster. Foundationally, some of these are great design systems and can provide a framework that you can evolve on your own if necessary.
Here is an example of a high-fidelity concept design that has gone through visual design. It’s integrated with client branding and rich visuals, and it’s not often that rich visuals are necessary early in the concept design process, but it very well may be needed by the end of putting your final deliverable together. Oftentimes, what we have seen in projects with extra polish and investment is that they tend to get faster and easier buy-in from the C suite, leading to additional project funding or approvals to make these concepts a reality.
Okay, so towards the middle and end of the concept design phase, you should already be thinking about prototyping and getting that process planned and started. If it’s not obvious by now why prototyping is crucial to the design process, let me explain. So why is prototyping so important? Prototyping simulates the future product or service, providing clarity of vision for everyone that has a stake in the project. It provides the means by which to validate the solution’s usability with end users, and as mentioned earlier, the tangibility of a prototype is an effective tool used for communication and buy-in of a future desired state. A prototype absolutely surpasses what you would get from a flat design mock-up. As we spoke about already, a prototype helps design and business, but it especially helps development to better understand user flows, interaction, and design intent and removes any ambiguity that would otherwise be present in flat designs. Finally, it provides cost savings through early detection of design issues that you would otherwise find in production. We all know how expensive issues cost at that point and in some cases how difficult it is to get them prioritized and fixed.
Here are some simple, clickable prototyping examples which have been created with these tools that we commonly use. But don’t mistake these tools for only creating simple prototypes. High-fidelity prototypes can be created with the same applications and programs such as Keynote, having the unique ability to handle rich media like videos and animations.
Here are some other tools that you might use to create more robust interactions or experiences. Adobe Premiere and After Effects are listed here because they are common tools we use to create immersive outputs, such as video walkthroughs of actual prototypes that can be used as standalone outputs when shared over email or consumed on demand. To summarize, a principle of design thinking and agile methodology is to fail fast. If you find that you have plenty of top ideas coming out of ideation and you have a tight deadline to explore which of these top solutions may be the right one, you’ll likely be concepting ideas in a low to mid-fidelity range.
Here are some tips gathered from our UpTop Health design team that we’d like to share with you. Before you start prototyping, you’ll want to choose the appropriate software that will support your prototype vision. Does that specific tool have the capabilities you desire or need? As we said earlier, to find the critical path, you want to prototype so that you can fence in what you’ll be prototyping. Creating a rough storyboard to map out each step of the user flow can be really helpful. Remember that the key is to focus on what’s important. We use the 80/20 rule, what does 80% of the user do? Leave edge cases out. Similar to the first bullet point, ask yourself how will the prototype be consumed? If there is a scenario where it needs to speak for itself, that’s where a narrated video of the prototype comes in handy.
Here are more tips for when you’re building your prototype. It’s always a time saver to prepare your design assets in advance so you’re not toggling too much between applications. Organize and mirror your design file and prototype from the start by workflow. Prototypes can get complicated and proper organization can save you hours. For expansive prototypes, interstitial screens are helpful to describe what may be happening between flows. This was mentioned on the previous slide, but besides a voiceover, foreground or background music can also be a nice touch. We said this as well, but consider key interaction states that will enhance the key parts of the user experience. This might be spending more time on building out details of a wizard flow if that flow is integral to the overall experience. And lastly, utilize template capabilities if your prototyping tool has them. Those are great time savers when making updates later on.
Lastly, here are some tips for preparing your prototype for usability testing. One, create a test plan for the usability test. The script and user tasks will help solidify what needs to be built out in the prototype, and get your team thinking about the outcomes that you want as you move into usability testing. Secondly, generate a background story for your test. This will help give the person using your prototype the appropriate context and make it more relatable.
So I just spoke at length about why prototyping is crucial to the design process. Usability testing goes hand in hand and is equally as important and cannot be overlooked. Here is why. It creates empathy with end users. For a moment, turn the roles around and think back to a time when you may have gone through a digital workflow or user interface as a patient or member. Maybe it was a poorly designed form and/or it was super glitchy. Have you ever said something like, “I can’t believe they put this out there. Did they go through this themselves?” Testing allows you to validate your designs for its usability before it’s ready for primetime. So we don’t needlessly have to put our customers, patients and members through unnecessary stress and give them reasons for turning elsewhere. Usability testing enables you to gather actionable insights so you can perform design iterations in the design phase, which will save time and money before getting into development, and worse, when it’s already in production. The quantitative and/or qualitative data you get back from testing will provide business decision-making leverage that executives and stakeholders require. They want to be able to justify their decisions by saying, “Well, if this is what our users are doing and saying, we must do it then.” Lastly, usability testing goes hand in hand with prototyping. If you have a prototype, you’re halfway there. Put it to full use by getting it in front of real users.
I want to touch a little on the different types of testing that can be done. But if you want more of a step by step, there are resources online that go into detail. The first is moderated versus unmoderated. The former is where you have someone experienced in UX research, specifically usability testing, to personally guide users through questions and tasks in real time. The value here is being able to dig deeper into feedback that’s provided. Unmoderated is where you might prepare questions and tasks on an online research platforms where users answer a set of test questions and perform a series of tasks by clicking through a design. Here the platform is able to measure average time on task and task completion rate. You can ask a generic follow-up question of why the user chose their action but there isn’t that ability to go deeper as you would in a moderated session in the event a user doesn’t have a detailed answer to their why.
Then there is remote versus in-person. With COVID, everything has been done over Zoom the past couple of years, but testing remotely is just as efficient as testing in-person. The two drawbacks we’ve seen with remote however are the lack of body language that we might otherwise be able to see in-person, and the ability to test and record design experience in actual mobile devices without having the user go through a bunch of tech setup. We have been relegated to testing mobile experiences in the frame of a mobile device but using a desktop, which is not an ideal setup. Then there is quantitative versus qualitative research. Quantitative is being able to measure the feedback in the form of metrics. Examples of this are average time on task or task completion rates as mentioned previously. Qualitative testing is the observational and conversational findings that you get from watching users interact with your designers and talking to them about their experience.
Then there’s exploratory versus assessment versus comparative. Very quickly, exploratory testing involves an entire project team aligning on who the users are and creating a set of tasks that they go through to do preliminary assessment on experience themselves. It allows for a quick evaluation of your design usability however it’s not with end users. Assessment is what we commonly know, which is putting designs in front of users and having them evaluate the general functionality. Lastly, comparative is similar, but asking users to compare and contrast between different solutions. Doing this can provide richer feedback as it forms a baseline to measure against. This allows the design team to be able to choose which solution is better performing.
Then there is traditional testing versus a method we use as part of our process called the right method. Traditional testing will place the design, a single design in front of say, six users to gather feedback and data. That same design will be seen and untouched through all six participants. The R.I.T.E method on the other hand is a method that originated from Microsoft’s gaming division and is a leaner, more progressive method that allows you to update the design in between participants as you find out critical insights. These insights are tested with the next participant, and the new insights are gathered and potentially implemented for the next participant and so forth. The key is determining what insights are subjective versus feedback that should be actionable. This method typically requires UX experts to make those types of judgment calls and at the end of this process though, you will have an optimized design after the last participant.
Here are some project examples with different combination of testing types just mentioned. The top left was a moderated remote qualitative assessment using the R.I.T.E method. The top right was a moderated in-person, notice the mobile phone, qualitative assessment using the right method as well. The bottom was an unmoderated I believe through usertesting.com quantitative assessment using traditional usability testing. You can see a prompt in the center of the screen which is the platform surfacing context before putting the user through a pre-determined task.
Before we talk about how this process of generating solutions from your journey map impacts your business, you have to remember that this process is one that should be repeated when exploring different opportunities on your journey map or journey maps. Reminder that it’s important to create multiple maps for the different personas and goals that are important to your business. Each journey will present unique opportunities, and the process we’ve walked through today can help you explore each of those opportunities.
So at the end of this solution generation process, here is where you will be. What we have seen through the tangibility of an interactive prototype is faster internal buy-in and in most cases project funding to advance the project idea to the next phase, which is usually product development. Internally, there is alignment around the clarity of vision for the product or service. Actionable insights are gathered through usability testing, which is used to iterate and improve the overall experience. Time and cost savings are huge benefits to the business, which when discovering design issues early on, before anything goes into development. Last but not least, the business leverage that is created when you intentionally tie decisions made throughout the process on relevant KPIs and customer data is what decision makers require.
With your outputs in hand, you can begin evangelizing your new product initiatives with confidence if you haven’t already been doing so. Sharing your new interactive concept prototype with key stakeholders to generate excitement and get the support you need will be like sharing a newborn baby with friends and family. Additionally, sharing more broadly, the use of a narrative video walkthrough of the prototype expands the reach of your vision to others in the organization and has shown to be very helpful. Lastly without spending too much time on this output, prepare a summary document with an outline of the process, access to the journey map, any contributing research and testing results that can be used for reference in context for people who are not directly involved in the project.
Before we open it up for questions, here’s what you should take away from today. Get more from solution generation when you use proper framing and prioritization techniques. Diverge and converge for effective brainstorming. Brainstorming in group meetings is not good enough and does not often lead to the best results. Set the stage by properly defining your concept design goal and story. Prototyping and testing are invaluable and will provide the tangibility, vision and evidence that stakeholders need to buy in and make informed decisions. If you do all of these things, you will be confident at the end of this process and be able to drive the type of business impact that you originally set out to achieve. With that, let’s open it up for questions, Craig.
Craig Nishizaki: All right. Great presentation, Michael and Deborah. Thanks for doing that. We have a few questions this morning, just not a whole bunch, so we may only take about 10 minutes to go through these, but how about I go ahead and walk through a few of them that have come in?
Okay, so as you know, healthcare is complicated and has many interlinked journeys, especially smaller ones that are part of the larger ones. How would you or how do you approach this type of complexity?
Deborah Roberts: That’s a great question, and I think that a lot of industries are complex but especially with healthcare and so a good place to start is to tackle smaller, bite-sized pieces of your journey so that it’s not so overwhelming and you can focus on a specific goal that the user is trying to accomplish and if the goal seems too broad perhaps it might be how the goal is framed. So for example, patients want to be healthy. You could reframe that as patient looks for health and wellness providers so they can live a healthier lifestyle. So getting a little bit more specific in how you frame things.
Craig Nishizaki: That’s great, Deborah. Michael, do you have anything you want to add to that?
Michael Woo: I think Deborah summed it up pretty much.
Deborah Roberts: I would also add too, something that can be tricky with healthcare is that there are just so many personas. It’s like everyone needs healthcare, right? So sometimes it’s hard to know maybe where to start and I think similarly again looking at that particular goal that you are trying to accomplish and looking at which persona group this might have the largest impact on, but then as we talked about, design is an iterative process so you do want to make sure to circle back to your minority persona groups and those kind of edge cases and evaluate how they would also engage with that flow because improvements for them can also lead to improvements for everyone. So it’s kind of a mix of both. It’s like looking at who is this going affect the most, but then also looking at your edge cases as well.
Craig Nishizaki: Yeah, and I think one thing that you both shared or that Deborah, you shared about, in terms of the KPIs is to be aware of. There was set in there about the employee experience and because healthcare delivery in terms of as providers or payers is dependent on the individuals providing the service or processing the claim or handling the customer care, it’s important to look at that side of the journey as well. So as we’re looking at impacting the end customer, what’s the internal impact for processes, systems and things like that as well?
Deborah Roberts: Absolutely.
Craig Nishizaki: All right. Next question is experiences typically touch on both online and offline workflows in healthcare. How do you bring attention to these offline systems and processes that need attention as well? That’s a great question.
Michael Woo: Yeah, I can take that one. Yeah, and it just dovetails what you just talked about, Craig. Naturally journey maps do touch on offline-online touchpoints and we try our best to try and map out all of those touchpoints and detail them out. Although a lot of the focus is put on the digital components of it, but it doesn’t mean that those are any more important. What we do is we really highlight those offline components and really call out what issues are arising out of those and it is often that it doesn’t make it into the actual ideation phase because it’s intangible, right? But if you start to see a lot of that stuff show up in your journey map, that is almost telling you that you might need to up-level that journey map and start to do something called service mapping. Service mapping is very, very similar to customer journey mapping, and if you have already done a journey map, you’re halfway there. You should actually use that as a baseline for starting your service map and for those who already know, service maps focus on the offline processes. The systems, the process, the internal tools, the employees that hope to accomplish that specific service and it is often that you see that. Organizations, their biggest issues might fall in that area as opposed to digital and it could be a combination of both.
So if you start to see that in your journey maps, it probably is time to do an exercise like that and start to look at where you might be able to improve, potentially completely change how you’re delivering a specific service.
Deborah Roberts: Absolutely. I would just add what’s really cool I think about service, service maps is it really just helps to connect the dots and helps you to see the bigger picture, especially when you’re dealing with a complex industry like healthcare. It is all still based on the user experience and those customer touchpoints, but it’s looking at all the backend stuff that is also happening to help that user get to the next step. So it can really help you connect the dots and see how those internal processes are actually impacting the end user experience. So it’s a great exercise to do.
Craig Nishizaki: Yeah. That’s great.
Michael Woo: It is true though that when trying to improve internal systems, you might face a little bit more headwinds if you will. Because there are a lot of ingrained processes, trying to get those changed but if you’re not honest with yourself in terms of the challenges that you’re facing, then you may never actually improve, or get down to the root of the problem.
Craig Nishizaki: That’s great input. Thanks both of you. Here’s another one. I think this might be common. We did journey mapping a few years ago, do you have some tips for checking the journey map to see if it needs to be revisited or refreshed and what are some of those triggers that you could think of? I’ll go ahead and start with this one and then if the two of you want to jump in as well. I think there’s business triggers that would cause you to think about whether or not that journey map has gone stale. An example would be has your business organization changed since the time that you did the journey mapping exercise? Has there been a merger, an acquisition, there’s a lot of consolidation happening in healthcare. Do you have new services or plans or programs that are being offered, or are there legacy services, plans or programs that are no longer being offered and how does that impact your customer base or your employees? And then are you serving the same personas or the same population that you were when the journey map was originally created, and how has their needs changed, so kind of two sides of that.
I think the big one that everyone is seeing and being impacted by is how has COVID impacted how you do your business or how you service your patients, your members. I think those are all good triggers to think about, whether or not you need to revisit or refresh your journey maps. Michael and Deborah, do you have any other thoughts on that?
Michael Woo: Yeah. Oh, go ahead Deborah.
Deborah Roberts: I was just going to say that I think it’s always a great practice to watch your customer service logs and just see are there patterns? Are people complaining about a lack of functionality in your experience or are you getting complaints around something that you could actually solve by improving your digital experience or your process, so that’s another great way just to kind of keep tabs on how effective your experience is.
Michael Woo: Yeah. All I was going to say was making sure you monitor your business strategy, making sure that hasn’t changed, in addition to the marketplace, right? Seeing if any of that has changed as well. But just generally having a regular cadence to check in on that journey map.
Craig Nishizaki: So it’s kind of a living, breathing thing is what you’re saying.
Michael Woo: Oh yeah. Most definitely.
Craig Nishizaki: Okay. I think Deborah, I think you just hit on a gold mine right there. If you’re panning for gold in an analog way, customer service. Their logs have so much great information. So tip, pro tip to everyone out there, check your customer service logs. Let’s see, next question is in healthcare, the journey experiences of many different perspectives or lenses with which to view them, we kind of talked about this previously. Patient, member, provider, broker, internal stakeholders, et cetera. How do you incorporate each of those into a map or do you do separate maps or give a little bit of guidance there, please.
Deborah Roberts: Yeah.
Michael Woo: That’s a great question. Yeah, really great question. Want to go first, Deborah?
Deborah Roberts: Sure, yeah. Well I would say that we typically start our journey maps from the user or patient member point of view so we can build empathy there with them. You could in theory create separate maps through looking at the lenses of each of those perspectives that were mentioned and if your team or organization was comprised of one of those roles that might make sense to do that but often what we’ll do in the interest of time, we’ll actually add those roles if it makes sense to the y-axis on the journey map and account for those experiences, the actions, pain points and opportunities as well as the users. You just want to make sure that you can separate that data visually, so maybe using different-colored sticky notes and spacing just to make sure it’s easy to kind of follow but then again you’re able to see I think more clearly how things connect, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of different important people in the process.
Michael Woo: Yeah. When we talked about service design earlier, it’s almost like a hybrid of a journey map and a service design map or service blueprint. But hey, it’s a very lean way to get through and actually document those moments without having to do multiple maps.
Deborah Roberts: Right.
Michael Woo: So again, there’s no right or wrong way to do a journey map. That’s why you see all different kinds out there.
Craig Nishizaki: You sure do. If you ever google journey maps, you see all kinds of different examples. All right. Let’s see, here’s a question that came from toward the end of the presentation. You mentioned getting in faster buy-in as an outcome of this process with the tangibility that you get through a prototype. Can you share any examples of how this works? I can jump again from a business perspective and then you all can key in as well. So if you think about the rhythm of the business, right now is budget planning season and on the business side of your organization, people are starting to plan out or ask for the budgets that they want for next year in terms of investments that they want to make and if you think about an effective way to land your budget is to show what the possibility is.
Get that emotional buy-in to your big bet, and we’ve seen this through our work previously in the tech industry with Microsoft and SAP Concur, F5 and a number of other digital native companies where a senior leader will take an idea, have an idea, and use this process to bring that idea to life in the sense of really crystallizing the vision and then getting buy-in along the way through the process, but then with that output of the prototype, being able to send it around, especially to the executive leadership to get them excited about what the future looks like and how this really can help. That there’s actually thought been put into this and that there is some evidence behind it with the journey mapping and the research that’s been done, and investing in that actually is a fairly small investment rather than doing a proof of concept or something that involves development and so that’s from my perspective what I’ve seen be very effective in this process is an example of that type of tangibility. So Mike or Deborah, anything you want to add to that?
Michael Woo: Yeah. I was just going to say, in regards to the tangibility piece, you think about a great idea that’s kind of isolated within a PowerPoint or a keynote can only go so far. You’ve seen often 50 slides of an idea and no matter how you try to describe it, there’s nothing again that compares to this tangible prototype that you’re literally setting the vision in front of that user or that stakeholder and they can immediately align to what your vision is as opposed to trying to describe it with how many words, et cetera. Yeah, I’ve seen that benefit for sure.
Deborah Roberts: Yeah. I actually just completed a project where we did this for a leading application services company, we did an envisioning project on what their website could look like and it was like about a year and a half and it was super effective. In organizations that are large and where there’s lots of stakeholders and kind of competing ideas and priorities, it can sometimes be hard to move big initiatives like that forward and so what we ended up doing is we ran a strategy sprint workshop or strategy sprint which included a workshop and we had a number of stakeholders kind of high in the company as a part of the process of the envisioning, which was awesome because it gave them a voice, it allowed them to be heard and have a hand in the process. So even before budget was granted, they were a part of it, we got buy-in. Then we ad the envisioning prototype and we had a walking prototype so to speak which was a video with narration of this persona kind of going through this flow, showing the new website experience, and then they’ve used that to that budget and now will be working on the design of the actual site but it’s just great because now we already have buy-in from these stakeholders where if we hadn’t included them, we would have to go through the process of getting them on board with the new design.
Then also by mapping out ahead of time, you get a better sense of what the cost is going to be before you get the budget. So then you can actually budget appropriately and then once you get that budget, you have this roadmap built out. So you can really hit the ground running, so it’s just a really efficient way to move things forward.
Craig Nishizaki: Yeah, I think that’s great input from both of you. The idea of being able to think through the strategy, have a roadmap that then lets you have better insights about what the budget and the planning will be and really hitting the ground running are great points. So the last question, which seems to be the biggest question is will this presentation be available for replay, and the answer is yes. So for those of you that want to watch it again, we’ll have this made available to you but we want to thank everyone for joining us this morning. Thank you Deborah and Michael for your expertise and your presentation. It was just really concise and really crisp in terms of explaining each of the steps that you would take someone through to help them come up with solutions from their journey mapping. I think this was really valuable information so thank you both. With that, we’ll say goodbye for today but we’ll make the recording available for replay and we’ll look forward to our next webinar where you can join and learn some more about how to impact the customer experience, the member experience and the patient experience for your company. All right. Thank you all.