Designer as Map Maker
Humans have always made maps; to tell us where we are, to show us how to get somewhere we want to go, to understand the bigger context. More and more, designers are creating maps for these reasons, and others. We make maps to draw insight, catalyze ideas, to get on the same page, and as tools for understanding complex experiences and processes. We make customer journey maps, empathy maps, mental models, experience maps and strategy roadmaps. What’s next for these tools? How will they evolve? What cartography capabilities do we need to develop as practitioners? What makes a map useful? Let’s talk about maps, baby!
As we look to the future of designers responding to increasingly wicked and messy problems. Service designers are at the forefront of this. We need to understand the evolution of design tools in context and the reasons for the changes. Why so many maps in service design? It matters because it helps to take a step back and survey where we have come from and where we are going in terms of the methods we use and how we as designers respond to change. Maps are a pure form of sensemaking. This is in our past and is undoubtedly in our future as a discipline. My research takes a detailed look at design maps and their evolution.