Over the decade or so since "design thinking" methodologies became prevalent, a certain way of doing things has become commonplace. The early stages of projects usually consist of "co-creation" workshops, in which designers, coders, consultants and other key stakeholders get together and try to figure out how things are going to proceed. They'll commandeer a meeting room, and over the course of an intense few days, the walls of that meeting room will get plastered in sticky notes and "canvases".
There are quite a few places online where you can download free persona templates or service blueprints. Service design agencies and software producers often make them available as a way of bringing traffic to their websites and getting their brand associated with the design thinking process.
Please don't get us wrong, these tools can be very useful, especially if you haven't done this kind of work before, or don't do it often. They give you a clear idea of the kinds of issues your team needs to be thinking about, as well as a space to capture everybody's output and insights. The problem is that this process always falls down at the same point. After the excitement of the design sprint comes the tedious part of the process, where the output needs to get typed up, digitised and distributed to the team. All too often this is where the enthusiasm starts to wane, and all that effort goes to waste as your beautiful service blueprint ends up forgotten, rolled up under someone's desk.
But we think there's another way. A tool which can capture all the information, but without the drudgery. A tool which can gather, organise and make sense of your findings, faster and more accurately. A tool which is digital from start to finish, with sharing and collaboration built in, so the whole team can participate.
Can you guess what that tool is? It's Narrandum, of course!
Let's take a quick look at just some of the advantages of using the ultimate digital service design tool.
Direct to digital
If you want to use customer journey templates in a design sprint workshop, this usually means printing out some big posters. If you're lucky enough to have a printer capable of handling A1 or A0 paper, great. But for most of us, this means a trip to the local print shop, with all the expense and hassle that entails. To say nothing of the huge amount of wasted effort from shifting from digital media, to physical, then back again! Narrandum dispenses with all of this. The whole team can create and edit stories together – simultaneously if needs be.
Encourages collaboration and co-creation
In principle, customer journey mapping workshops should be leaderless, dynamic events, where every stakeholder participates and contributes to the best of their ability. The reality is somewhat different, however. Typically, one or two "scribes" emerge, who take the initiative in capturing the group's output, usually on the walls of the room. Inevitably, these scribes, consciously or otherwise, filter and edit what gets preserved and carried forward into the next phases of the design process.
With Narrandum, there is no hierarchy. All users are equal, all have the same access to stories, all have exactly the same ability to create and edit. So you can be sure that when you're creating your service, every voice can be heard, and that means you can create better products, faster.
Focus on the work, not the tools
Narrandum guides, assists and supports, but it does its best never to obstruct. Our goal is to allow you to concentrate on what's important – your product, your service. Not ours. We give you hints on what to think about – touchpoints, user needs, events, user goals – but we don't force you to see things our way. We give you the tools to develop user personas which are detailed, nuanced and relatable, but how much you flesh those characters out is your choice.
Customer journey map templates can be a useful tool. But at Narrandum, we believe their time is up. We've come up with a better way, and we're confident it can make your design sprint workshops more effective, and your digital services better. So sign up today and give it a try!