Sharing tools: a hands-on mapping workshop

Post-its! Paper! Action! Sol Pandiella-McLeod wants to take you on a journey into the pain points, frustrations and, ultimately, opportunities for finding solutions and solving problems in your social impact products or services.

Sol, a principal UX consultant at DiUS, has suggested a session for ChangeCampAU on July 1, which will be a hands-on workshop exploring the world of journey maps and cluster maps.

Think of these maps as your macro and zoom lenses. A cluster map is the big-picture view of your problem while the journey map digs deeper into the individual experience of the people that interact with your product or service.


The big picture

“A cluster map is a more holistic view of everything: you are looking at ecological impacts of a problem, you’re looking at society influences and you’re looking at the person,” says Sol.

“So you can do a cluster map on, say, the state of education and the way it impacts an individual, society and environment. You end up with this big sheet of little bubbles with little connectors all through them. What effect does society have on education? You’ve got government legislation, you’ve got curriculum, you’ve got perceptions of society that say you have to go to school until year 12 and attend university.”


The experiential journey

The user journey map, on the other hand, digs deep into individual experiences using ‘empathy mapping’.

“When we create user journey maps, we map out the experience that someone has when they are interacting with a particular product or service. We look at the touch points that they connect with and map out each step a user takes. We also look at how they are feeling and what they are thinking, and then we map out any pain points and frustrations they have throughout that experience,” says Sol


User journey map example, created by Sol


You can also create different journey maps for different personas, as one service or product may have a range of different experiences according to the demographic of the person involved.

“By the end you’ve got this really clear vision of the person you’re helping – what they feel and what they need. And then you can find opportunities where you can improve a service, or introduce new products or services to that experience.”


Collaborative spaces and social impacts

According to Sol, journey maps work well for the social impact sector and are particularly suited to collaborative spaces like ChangeCampAU.

“When I was part of the Code for Australia initiative, we created a user journey that mapped out the experience that refugees have when they are waiting to come to Australia, when they come to Australia and what happens after they arrive,” she says.

Sol's user journey for a refugee upon reaching Australia

Sol’s user journey map for a refugee family coming to Australia

To start a map, you just need people, post-its and rolls of butcher paper.

“The first step to create user journey maps is to involve the target users in the actual creation of the map, using large sheets of paper, sharpies and post-it notes. So everyone draws on it; then what I typically do is take it away and polish it up and then make it into an Illustrator document or something that you can print,” she says.

“It’s a fun exercise to do. You end up with this long panoramic diagram of the steps that someone will take when they interact with something. It’s beneficial for anything – corporate, social, government – and it can be complex or simple.”


Can’t wait to make your own map? Do you have a session idea of your own? Please register for ChangeCampAU by June 25  and submit your session suggestions. If you have already registered but would like to suggest a session, please send an email to


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