Journey mapping is one of my favorite tools to capture customer, employee, partner’s experience journey and identify gaps to enhance it further. Tony Fadell, the father of iPod, has given excellent tips on how he and his team at Nest used journey mapping for experience design in his book “Build: An unorthodox guide to making things worth making”. Here is an attempt to capture some of Fadell’s tips related to journey mapping.
be able to map out and visualize exactly how a customer discovers, considers,
installs, uses, fixes, and even returns your product. It all matters,” Fadell
says in the book. When people come to him to show a new product they have
built, he asks, “Tell me what’s so special about the customer journey”. If the customer journey is that important, why does it get ignored? Fadell points to
the cognitive bias we tend to carry – “We’re wired to focus our attention on
tangible things that we can see and touch to the point that we overlook the
importance of intangible experiences and feelings.”
Before we look at 3 examples of how journey mapping was used for Nest, let’s look at a journey map template Fadell gives along with possible touchpoints in each stage:Fadell’s point is that we tend to focus on the “product design” stage at the cost of the other stages. Here are three examples from the Nest learning thermostat design.
The app: In the early days of Nest,
everyone was focused on perfecting the thermostat. It involved getting the
design, AI, electronics, mechanics, colors, textures, right. The installation,
feeling of turning the dial, the glow when you walk past, all this was thought
through. Fadell points out that in Nest journey, 10% was
website-ads-packaging-in-store display, 10% was installation, 10% was
looking-and-touching the device and 70% was monitoring and control on
phone-laptop. After the thermostat was installed and working, majority of
touchpoints were through the app. And the team had lost track of the app. They
had done initial prototypes when the project began but thought it to be the easy
stuff they can come back to later. And it got pushed to the end. Fadell admits
he became “really loud” to bring team’s attention to the app.
The box: “You should be prototyping your
marketing long before you have anything to market,” says Fadell. And that is
what they did at Nest. The cardboard box, its packaging, the product name, the
tagline, the top features, their priority order – all these were printed on a cardboard
box and constantly tweaked and revised. Two personas were created one tech-savvy
husband and his wife, the decision maker, dictated what made into the house and
what got returned. Nest team was asking questions like, “Why would they pick up
the box? What would they want to know? What was most important to them?” There was
no thermostat isle in Best Buy, Nest’s first retail partner. Thermostats were not
bought by homeowners directly. Best Buy was not going to create a thermostat
isle either. So, they collaborated with Best Buy and invented a Connected-Home isle.
screw-driver: When prototypes
of the actual thermostat were ready, they were sent out to people to test. Self-installation
was potentially a major anxiety generator. Hence, it was a crucial test. Testers
reported that the installation was smooth. Everything is up and running. But it
took about an hour to install. That was way more than what the team thought. So
they started digging into the installation experience and see where things are
taking time. It turned out that the installation itself was not the culprit. The
testers spent twenty minutes locating the right tools like the screwdriver. So Nest
team decided to include a little screwdriver in the installation kit. And, to
their surprise, the screwdriver served the purpose of a marketing tool because
people had to use it more often than the actual thermostat.
In short, the
app, the box, and the screwdriver are excellent examples of how journey mapping
can be used to enhance the intangible touchpoints in a customer’s journey.
screwdriver image source: https://bmak.substack.com/p/nest-screwdriver