Experience Mapping, the Mallard Duck

At Capsule, we are proud creators of meaningful moments for our clients. Particularly those moments where a brand can impact the memory and motivations of a human person (if you have read our book, The Physics of Brand, this will sound familiar). We have been at this endeavor for a long time, long before our book, exploring experience design for brands like Penske Trucks, Capital One, Caribou, and Panda Express with great results.

As strategic designer folk, we are continually refining this process, finding our own way to map the customer journey where we uncover and visualize potentially hidden opportunities. It’s an invaluable tool, allowing brands to fully understand and see who their customer is and just how to build meaningful interaction.

Our favorite way to think of this is to consider the mallard duck. Picture the duck from above the water, floating serenely across, occasionally going for a dip, appearing calm and relaxed. Now picture submerging under water to view the duck’s feet, furiously paddling in order to stay afloat and keep moving, kicking up bubbles and pushing the water around with gusto. Either perspective, above or below the water, isn’t the full picture, in fact they are remarkably different. The surface of the duck’s experience is completely deceiving.

A brand’s relationships to their customer can be remarkably similar. It is easy to stay above the water and derive misleading conclusions without the benefit of deeper understanding. A person’s motivations are not always apparent. Experience mapping allows the customer’s journey to be interpreted from all sides and to be understood holistically, leading to a truer, more useful understanding of how to interact and connect.

What could you have missed below the surface in the experience of your customer? What do you stand to gain through a better understanding? We would wager a great deal.

We have a number of other lessons worth discussing in the area of Experience Mapping. Reach out if you’d like to learn more.

About The Author

Aaron Keller

I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior and design? Oh, it’s on.

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  • 2.7.2018

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