Identifying the touchpoints between customer and businesses is the first step in creating products and services that provide true value. The use of systematic, visual representations expose previously unseen opportunities for improvement and for growth.
There are many names for such diagrams: customer journey maps, experience maps, mental model diagrams, and more. The term "alignment diagrams" describes them all as a category of deliverable that shares a common fundamental principle: aligning the user experience with business processes. Accordingly, alignment diagrams have two parts: one capturing customer behavior and the other reflecting business processes.
The overlap of these two parts reveals the interaction between them. By visually aligning the user’s experiences with the business offering, providers are better able to highlight the points where value is created.
Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He has consulted for large companies such as eBay, Audi, Sony, Elsevier Science, Lexis Nexis, Citrix and more. Jim also held the title of Head of Information Architecture with Razorfish in Germany, and was UX Strategist at USEEDS, a design and innovation agency in Berlin. Jim holds a master’s degree in library and information science and a master’s degree in music theory and composition, both from Rutgers University.
How the heck did this guy find time to write a book?
Before returning to the US in 2013 after fifteen years in Germany, Jim was co-founder and long-time organizer of the European Information Architecture conferences. He also co-founded the IA Konferenz in Germany, a leading UX design event because of its cool use of the letter "z". Previously Jim was assistant editor with Boxes and Arrows, a prominent journal for user experience information. He also served on the advisory board of the Information Architecture Institute in 2005 and 2007.
Clearly, Jim is easily bored. So to keep himself entertained outside of work, he channels his creative energy into music by playing jazz bass in jam sessions and combos in his current home of Jersey City. (Energy that will have been put to great use during his Friday workshop with Jeff Gothelf!) In 2007 Jim published his first full-length book, Designing Web Navigation (O’Reilly, 2007). He blogs at experiencinginformation.com.