Posted: October 21st, 2022
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The purpose of this assignment is to pull together what you have learned about a problem and the people who experience the problem, and demonstrate your empathy for the PROCESSES AND PAIN they experience with CURRENT alternative solutions (IT IS NOT TO DESCRIBE EXPERIENCES WITH YOUR SOLUTION – IF YOUR DESCRIPTION FOCUSES ON YOUR SOLUTION YOU WILL NOT EARN FULL CREDIT FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT). Great processes may elicit delight. Terrible processes likely elicit frustration. Opportunity lives at the intersection of problems, people, and pain! Understanding your customers’ CURRENT journey with CURRENT alternatives may reveal windows of opportunity where you can make things better.
You must complete both pages of the customer journey template provided below. Begin with the customer persona you described in the previous Startup Step (or a new one if you want to change your idea), and use research and observation/experience to describe what they experience with ONE PARTICULAR SOLUTION (the one you think they’d be most likely to use) when faced with ONE PARTICULAR USE SCENARIO (i.e., jobs-to-be-done in some setting). You must do this for five phases of their journey:
When they first became AWARE of their alternative (think about marketing – how would someone first learn about this alternative, was it a fun experience (e.g., most Super Bowl ads), part of a routine (popup ad, end-cap displays in stores), etc.
how they ASSESS the quality/helpfulness of the alternative (think about trustworthy, easily compared information such as food labels versus sketchy, unreliable information such as provided with nutrition supplements – are people confident they know what they are getting? Is it easy to pick the best alternative?)
how they make a PURCHASE (think about the point of sale such as a website, storefront, etc. – things like user interface design and interior décor/signage may be important), what the USE EXPERIENCE is like (think about face-to-face or hands-on experiences – unboxing, instructions, ease of use, performance, etc.)
and what the POST USE experience is like (think about cleanup and maintenance – stuff to fill out, clean, store, etc.). On the second page you must characterize:
how these experiences make your customer persona feel (delighted, indifferent, frustrated, etc.),
describe why poor processes are not better, and how you might improve things to make those processes delightful (this is very important – it can become a “to do” list for designing your “better” solution). This is a relatively complex assignment because it is multi-faceted. Let me offer a few important tips:
Remember that this is NOT a description related to YOUR IDEA. You are describing how ONE PERSON (persona) interacts with ONE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE SOLUTION.
USE RESEARCH!!! Look at alternatives online and look at reviews and comments. Google reviews for the current alternative you’re describing. ASK PEOPLE you think experience this problem what they currently use, when they use it, and what they like/don’t like about the experience (i.e., customer discovery interviews). Do the work so you’ll be taken seriously!
This is easier if you think of each column like you are filming scenes in a movie – what happens when your customer first becomes aware (e.g., sees a TikTok post?) of this solution? What happens when they use it? etc… If you can use your empathy to “see” the action, facial expressions, emotions, etc., you should be able to fill this out with meaningful, helpful descriptions.
It’s OK to leave a cell or two blank if you don’t think filling them out makes sense, but you should be able to fill out all or almost all of these if you close your eyes and create “mini-movies” of your customer interacting with the current alternative you selected.
On the second page your are asked to suggest barriers to delightful experiences and ways you could improve those experiences. It’s OK to leave a couple of those blank if the current experiences in particular phases of the journey are awesome (and therefore hard to improve – e.g., Amazon’s one-touch purchasing process).
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