This Service Design Journey Mapping exercise presents my learning pathway and experience of the Service Design module for the Masters of Design Futures I’m currently undertaking at RMIT.
This post is not only about how effective self-reflection can be to self-awareness to one’s own traits and behaviours and thereby grow and learn, but also how information design and user journey mapping can create connections and relationships between actions, emotions, and other effectors on one’s behaviour; which is why user journey maps are such an important visualisation tool for examining complex systems. I will take this self-reflection process to heart and endeavour to apply it within my studio’s practice.
The journey map shows 10 columns representing the 10 weeks of the service design course. The map divides these 10 columns up into emotional reflection, challenges faced, actions undertaken, and an expanded information row describing key elements for that week.
The journey map is based on a preliminary write up which covers 4 stages of reflection:
- Reporting + Responding: Report what happened or what the issue / critical incident involved.
- Relating: How does it relate to you?
- Reasoning: Highlight in detail significant factors underlying the incident or issue
- Reconstructing: Reframe or reconstruct your understanding — what will you do next?
This exercise was predominately about demonstrating the importance and methods of self reflection, and in doing so became about information design and journey mapping.
I feel self-reflection in our industry is overlooked. Sure, team debriefs occur. But self-reflection offers deeper learning of one’s emotions, cause and effects of decisions taken during a project, and challenges overcome — or not.
For instance in the journey map there was a significant period during the course where I felt unsatisfied with my work that I was submitting for the course. Once I had combined, within the information design, both external work loads and my emotional fluctuations during the course it became apparent that the external work loads and stressors were affecting my emotional state during the course work. My uni work hadn’t suffered, others wouldn’t have really known, but this is how I felt for a period of the course. It seems a blatantly obvious cause-and-effect once visualised. But had it not been for the reflection of the 10 weeks I wouldn’t have combined the two factors.
Another interesting outcome from self-reflection and the visualisation of the journey map is noting the course structure through the ‘Actions’ row. Smaller but more numerous actions are required at the start of the course, and as the course progresses, larger but less numerous actions are required; effectively the time spent each week was about the same, but the manner in which the effort is spent changes quite dramatically over the 10 weeks.