Experience Maps: Understanding Cross-Channel Experiences For Gamers

One of the most satisfying aspects of our work is helping our clients deepen their understanding of their customers. A couple of years ago we worked on just such a project for Comcast–where we were able research how gamers gather information across channels to make purchasing decisions.

Our friends at Comcast are letting us publish the three capstone deliverables from this project–which we called “experience maps.” We’re excited to share them. (Seriously. I’ve been waiting two years to post this.)

This is an example of our experience map for a customer segment we called the Escapist Gamer:

Experience Map: Escapist Gamer

For this project we were asked to research the needs and priorities of hardcore gamers–people who play video games more than 10 hours a week–to help evolve one of Comcast’s gaming websites. We recruited dozens of gamers for in-person and phone interviews, and created standard UX deliverables like an alignment model.

But the research was much richer than anything we could capture in an alignment model. Hardcore gamers invest a lot of time–on forums, in stores, with friends–before buying a game. We wanted to show how these different experiences shaped their behaviour.

The solution we came up with was an experience map–a diagram that combines a persona with an abstracted story about the gamer’s journey from researching games to purchasing, playing to sharing experiences about that game. The story includes the details on the different channels where gamers get their information along with supporting quotes form our research.

Here are the other two experience maps we created for this project:

Social Gamer (download the full-size version JPG, 6.9 MB)

Experience Map: Social Gamer

Genre Gamer

Experience Map: Genre Gamer

We’ve used a variation of the experience map with another client and found it just as useful. And, interestingly enough, we made an experience map trading card a couple of years ago that shows some of that work.

If there’s interest I may write a longer piece on the process we used to create the experience maps. We’ve also posted some other deliverables from this project on Flickr.



Gene Smith


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