Strategic and tactical projects within any organization often involve the resolution of business and customer perspectives: the business focuses on maximizing a target market’s profits and potential for growth; customer-centered design focuses on maximizing the value of a service to the customer.
Instead of seeing the different points of view as one position trying to overwhelm or eliminate the other, we should seek to map them and find their overlap. Illustrating this intersection reveals where value is created for both the business and for the customers.
In this presentation, I propose the term “alignment diagrams” to describe the class of diagrams that visualize touchpoints between a customer and a business to expose mutual value creation. Such diagrams are implicitly part of the current design practice. Examples include customer journey maps, mental model diagrams, experience maps and workflow diagrams. Thus my definition of alignment diagrams is not a new technique, but rather recognition of how various techniques can be seen in a new and constructive way.
The presentation therefore focuses on the principles behind alignment diagrams that distinguish this type of document for others. I will also present concrete tools and approaches for mapping value creation based on these principles, as well as show many examples. In the end, the alignment technique supports the increasing importance of design disciplines in business success. What's more, aligning for value points to a new perspective for designers: value-centered design.