3D Prototyping

B2B Customer Journey Mapping Toolkit

Client: Professional services firm (internal project)

Challenge: Our team of three was developing new product offerings to drive revenue and expand reach among new client segments. We had a proven approach for helping startup B2B clients better understand and optimize their complex, multi-stakeholder customer journeys—however, it was dialogue-driven and heavily dependent upon one particular facilitator. How could we externalize the process and teach it to others? How could we make it easier to deliver, and more participatory for the client?

Methods Used: Journey mapping, brainstorming, Ten Types of Innovation, tabletop board game design, paper and 3D prototyping, user testing with internal team and clients.

My Contribution: I developed the external workshop tools from concept sketch to 3D prototype and final fabrication. I drew main inspiration from role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, along with tile-based tabletop game boards like Carcassonne, Tsuro, and Forbidden Island. Much like my own experience in sales and business development, these games can be non-linear and collaborative, with many concurrent or looping pathways and shifting challenges before the finish. You and your team need to know exactly where the monsters or obstacles are on the table before you can effectively fight them. I thought this analogue would be useful to make interlocking pieces and tokens that could be placed and rearranged to spark discussion among leaders about how their customer journey actually works in the real world, not an abstract spreadsheet or report.

What I Learned: It was a joy to make something tactile, then watch how people interacted with it. Its resemblance to a game struck a chord of delight in some participants, though this seemed to cause a little bit of confusion during testing. Though it looked like a game, the mechanics and end goals were different. I also gained a healthy respect for the process of user testing and how much time that can take with a complex toolkit. One of the unexpected results I observed is that one of the best artifacts it generated was not always the map itself, but the conversations it sparked and increased empathy for other actors in the process.

Image source: Júlio Reis (User:Tintazul) - Original File, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=306300

This project was proprietary, so instead I’m showing one of my inspirations: Meeples from the board game Carcassonne. (Image source)