13 Dec 2023 Frank Spillers


Digging deeper with Opportunity Mapping for UX

Digging deeper with Opportunity Mapping for UX

Opportunity Mapping for UX

In the upcoming Opportunity Mapping for UX workshop, we cover this strategic tool that uncovers the potential for business and design impact. By mapping your opportunities, you aim stakeholders toward the highest alignment of user + business value.

What Opportunity mapping gives you:

  • Highlights a set of circumstances ideal for creating positive change.
  • Clarifies customer needs and pain points by channel.
  • Brings stakeholder awareness to opportunities.
  • Helps you image, reinvent or optimize a service or product experience.
  • Enhances user adoption through informed decisions.

Steps for Conducting Opportunity Mapping

1. Identify Customer Needs and Pain Points

Start by gathering insights on what your customers truly need and what frustrates them. Ethnographic interviews are ideal. This includes broken touchpoints and disrupted journeys.

2. Analyze and Prioritize Desirability

Take your Journey Map or Touchpoint Inventory and evaluate each opportunity based on its potential impact, desirability, and feasibility. Prioritize those that align closely with user needs and business goals.

3. Map Opportunities Against Business Goals

Align each opportunity with specific business objectives. This alignment ensures that every design decision contributes to overall business success (Key Results in OKR’s).

4. Develop Strategies for Addressing Opportunities

Create actionable strategies to seize these opportunities. This could involve designing new features, improving user experience, or redefining service delivery.

5. Implement, Test, and Iterate

Implement these strategies in small, manageable steps. Test their effectiveness and iterate based on feedback and results.

Desirability First

Opportunity mapping asks a crucial question: Where can the business align with users’ needs to create mutual value? This alignment is key to enhancing desirability first. It’s not just about what the business wants to offer but what users genuinely find valuable and desirable.

Why User Desirability Matters

  • Aligns business offerings with user needs, tasks, and goals.
  • Increases user satisfaction and adoption.
  • Comes before usability: first, give users what they need, then make it easy to use.

MVP vs MDP: Aligning MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) with MDPs (Minimum Desirable Products) fosters effective Agile UX collaboration. Further, linking Opportunity Maps with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is vital. It ensures the opportunities you pursue align with your business’s strategic objectives.

The Impact of Opportunity Mapping

Opportunity Mapping is more than just a tool; it’s a mindset shift. It encourages businesses to act based on evidence, aligning design decisions with user needs and business objectives. This approach leads to more thoughtful, user-centered products and services, ultimately driving success for both users and the business. This can help you:

  • Create a forum for exploring potential impacts.
  • Prioritize essential elements for users and the business.
  • Shape solutions that resonate with user priorities.

Opportunity Mapping in UX is a powerful approach for exploring the potential for design and business impact. Focusing on user needs and aligning these with business goals offers a roadmap for creating products and services that satisfy customers and drive business growth. Whether you’re a UX designer, a product manager, or a business strategist, embracing Opportunity Mapping can lead to more informed, impactful decisions and a more substantial alignment between user desirability and business success.

Go deeper: Attend the workshop Opportunity Maps for UX part 1

Cost: $100 for 2 parts (2 hrs) or FREE for UXIC Members. Why Join?

About the Author

headshot of frank spillers

Frank Spillers

Founder - UX Inner Circle

Frank Spillers, MS, founded the UX Inner Circle to share his knowledge and skills with his students from the Interaction Design Foundation where he has provided select trainings for the past 8 years. He leads UX and Service Design consulting at Experience Dynamics, an award-winning consultancy. He works with the world’s leading brands to deliver cutting-edge strategy for products, services, and experiences. Starting out in the mid-’90s in social VR, Frank has consulted on 600 UX projects including enterprise web applications, nonprofits, government and more. He’s an Inclusive Design evangelist, and expert in Accessibility, Emotion Design, VR/AR, Cross-cultural Design and UX Management. Frank brings 25 years of experience as a Sr. UX Director and Service Design leader. He has lifted conversion rates by 88% and enhanced revenue by 300% for firms like Nike, Intel, Microsoft, the City of New York, Global Disability Rights Now!, Four Seasons, Capital One, the World Bank, Women Enabled International, and many more.

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