User Experience

CX Mapping for business evolution at PayPal

After nearly 2 decades as eBay’s default payment provider, PayPal was spun off to compete in a rapidly evolving market. To survive, this large and complex organisation required agility and experiences that attracted merchants and consumers alike.

PayPal recognised the need for mapping existing customer experiences. This starting point would identify pain points and opportunities, from which journey enhancements could be proposed, designed, tested and implemented.

Leading the UX team at PayPal’s digital agency, I designed a workshop framework that was delivered in Berlin, London and New York. The workshops were flexed to accommodate consumer and merchant work streams and include add ons such as design sprints.

slides from a workshop plan over an image of a woman in a cafe on her mobile
Customer Experience Mapping

The workshops were designed to be completed within a working day. However, there was much preparation by my team and client stakeholders to prepare customer insights, competitor analysis and experience audits that would be presented on the day.

I also created a series of workshop exercise materials that were customised for each event and each specific group of attendees.

  • Desk research.
    The workshops brought together different business units. We presented customer, competitor and market analysis to illustrate the user environment and give a flavour of customer expectations, not just from a payment solution, but from digital services as a whole. As each workshop would cover a different geographical area, I called upon colleagues within our network who were familiar with the market and its cultures to provide key pieces of research.
desk research slides
  • Empathy exercises.
    A number of exercises, including documenting user needs and known frustrations, and creating proto-personas helped the workshop attendees to ‘step in to the shoes’ of the customers. This helped sway their thinking from purely business needs.
workshop materials
  • Plotting the map.
    A large wall accommodated the ‘first draft’ experience map. Attendees used Post-It notes to plot actions and frustrations within sections of a pre-determined customer lifecycle timeline.
  • Identifying opportunities.
    A later part of the workshop encouraged participants to look at how customer frustrations could be addressed. Through discussion, we identified the most pressing pinch points. Attendees were shown how to write hypotheses for experience enhancement and then had to present these to their colleagues (dressed as scientists for a bit of theatre). The best of these would go on the become briefs for designs or changes in process that would enhance the customer experience.
hypothesis card over a couple of 'fancy dress' stools
  • Breaking down siloes.
    One of the benefits of the experience mapping programme was the bringing together of stakeholders for different parts of the customer lifecycle. In an organisation as large and complex as PayPal, such collaborative thinking could be rare. The opportunity to work together resulted in a recognition that the experience had been disjointed and a desire to create briefs that would address bumps in the user journey.
  • Formalised artwork.
    Compared with the experience maps of some organisations, PayPal’s were complex. The organisation has multiple products for both consumers and merchants. I worked with the workshop outputs to filter the findings and produced a number of draft maps that were discussed with the client to ensure the level of detail and choice of language was appropriate. The final artwork was created in Adobe Illustrator, my preferred tool for this kind of documentation. On sign off, the artwork was delivered as large format printed charts.

    The video shows the progression of the artwork for one of the maps.
Other CX Maps

Whilst the PayPal CX maps were some of the more heavy duty projects I have been responsible for, I have enjoyed working with other brand teams to produce game-changing documentation.

These maps were also printed out as large format posters and often found pride of place on client office walls, where they would be regularly referenced.

  • Mazda.
    Mazda Automotive in Europe were a client for many years and we had considerable knowledge of the customer lifecycle. As digital became an increasingly important set of channels, the business required a better view of where opportunities lay. I produced this CX map based on all the research we had to hand.
Mazda customer experience map
  • Cunard.
    When we won the Cunard account, there was a need to fully understand the sometimes very lengthy timeline of cruise selection, booking and vacation. Mapping sessions with the client provided much of what we required but I found the world of cruise forums to be a treasure chest of insights when it came to adding the voice of the consumer. For this map I was able to use my earlier Mazda map artwork as a template, thus the similarities.
Cunard customer experience map
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