“Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints & Diagrams” by Jim Kalbach is a holistic tutorial on why and how to map the experiences of the people who use your products or services. It’s a bible of experience mapping, a book for using as a resource, not for reading.

Why we like it

We’ve found mapping to be a fantastic sense-making tool. As a result we have perused through gobs of books on the topics of story mapping, customer journey mapping, and experience mapping. This book is by far the most thorough resource we’ve found. The goal of this book is to make mapping more approachable in general. Mr Kalbach cautions us to not get stuck on terminology, but to focus on how you’d tell the story of value alignment to your organization. And to try it out – and hey, you may even envent on your own a hybrid diagram or coin a new term in doing so!

Four things that stand out

* The “taxonomy” of diagrams used. This is the first book we’ve found that actually catalogs all of the various types of diagrams we use in the CX discipline.

* A theoretical framework that underlies **all** diagrams, specifically the relationship of the business processes to the customer experience (“back of house” vs. “front of house”)

* A rational approach to help select which type of map to try, and how to apply it.

* The focus on not getting dogmatically stuck in terminology, but to take what’s provided and play with it telling your own story of value alignment.

What we don’t like:   Some of the experience maps have such small print (often times on purpose to protect company intellectual property) that they are unreadable.

What’s in the book

In Part 1 Jim Kalbach explains the fundamentals of visualizing value and offers fundamentals of mapping experiences.

Part 2 introduces a general process you can use to map customer experiences.

Part 3 is already dog-eared in my copy: The author goes in details and offer tips and tricks on five different types of maps in detail, with countless visual  examples provided:

Service Blueprints

Customer Journey Maps

Experience Maps

Mental Model Diagrams

Spacial Maps and Ecosystem Models

Who should have it on their shelves

Product Managers, Service Managers, UX Experts, Designers and entrepreneurs and everyone building products and services for great customer experience.

If this is one on your shelf, tell us how you’ve morphed one of the tools provided in telling your own story of value alignment to your organization!