This journey map for the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, is one of my favorites. That’s because the folks at the former design agency Adaptive Path (which was acquired by Capital One back in 2014) did a great job of highlighting two key things:
1) The entirety of the customer experience. It would be easy for Exploratorium management to focus exclusively on the museum experience—everything that happens within their physical walls, represented by the square box in the middle of the map. But from visitors’ perspectives, there’s much more involved. Prior to their experience in “the box,” they have to get to the museum, navigating San Francisco’s public transportation system or dealing with traffic and parking. And afterwards, feeling tired and overwhelmed, they need to figure out what to do next.
2) The needs of different types of visitors. The Exploratorium is not a one-size-fits-all museum. Different types of visitors have different needs and expectations, which are clearly laid out at the bottom of this map. For example, a Hispanic family who’s “doing the museum” needs to keep the family members, both old and young, together—and they’re pleasantly surprised that translation services are free. In contrast, a local resident who’s there for the Exploratorium’s Thursday night 18+ After Dark activities is looking for alcohol and is buzzed and wants munchies.
I’ve used this map for years as a teaching tool in our journey mapping workshops. But today I got a clue as to how the Exploratorium might be using them.
I was cruising around the Exploratorium website, and I found this article: Best SF Date Idea Ever: Eat Your Way Through the Exploratorium. The content is clearly geared for one key persona—that local adult. And rather that just focus on food in “the box,” it gives readers ideas of where to eat across the entire journey: The site suggests that before they arrive, visitors grab an early snack at the nearby marketplace housed in San Francisco’s history Ferry Building. While they’re at the museum, they can eat at the museum’s restaurant or at one of two food-related exhibits. And the site suggests an artisanal gin and tonic at a nearby bar after visitors exit the museum. “After Dark is over, but your date is growing increasingly more witty and attractive as the night unfolds. You’re not ready to head home yet. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to crown your Thursday night Exploratorium journey.”
Many organizations use journey maps to make improvements to customer pain points. But I haven’t seen many that use journey maps to drive their content strategies. Kudos to the Exploratorium!