We are witnessing a shift in the way businesses create value. Competing today requires a new mental model of how the world works, but we are stuck in obsolete practices of management that optimize short-term gains at the expense of long-term value.
Visualizations are key tools for helping organizations change their perspective. You’re surely familiarly with things like customer-journey maps, service blueprints, and experience maps. Though no silver bullet, diagrams seek to align customers’ experiences with how businesses operate.
Designers are well suited for creating such complex diagrams. Producing them requires empathy for customers, the ability to organize a wealth of information, and visual storytelling skills. But the designer’s job goes beyond map making. To gain strategic alignment, designers also have to be facilitators, communicators, and, ultimately, strategic players within organizations. Visualizations help engage others and reach consensus around actions that aspire to have transformational impact on customers.
James Kalbach discusses the principles of value alignment through diagrams, sharing examples and practical advice and offering guidance on mapping experiences as well as how to become grass-roots strategic players.
Jim Kalbach is the head of customer success at MURAL, a leading online digital whiteboard. Jim is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He has worked as a UX designer for a number of large companies, including eBay, Audi, Sony, Elsevier Science, LexisNexis, and Citrix. Jim is the author of Designing Web Navigation and Mapping Experiences, both from O’Reilly, and was a cofounder of the European Information Architecture conferences and the IA Konferenz series in Germany. He blogs at Experiencinginformation.com. You can find him playing jazz bass in jam sessions and combos in his hometown of Jersey City.
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