Ecosystem Map

An ecosystem map is a visual representation of the people, organizations, products, and services that a user may interact with during a particular experience.

Mapping can help UX practitioners synthesize insight into one place and visualize the problem space. This video covers 3 maps that are often utilized during the discovery phase of a UX design project: ecosystem maps, experience maps, and process maps.

An ecosystem map visually represents the people, organizations, products, and services a user may interact with during a particular experience.

Ecosystem maps usually have a hub-and-spoke design — where people and things are connected to a central user (the hub) through lines of different lengths — or a ripple-like design of concentric circles. Both formats can demonstrate the metaphorical distance between a person or thing and the user.

People with more influence or who interact with the user for longer are closer to the nucleus, while people who interact with the user only indirectly or briefly lie further away in the structure. Ecosystem maps are not linear or chronological, although you can use the clockwise format to add a time element.

An example of an ecosystem map of the home-purchase experience: The buyer is surrounded by many people, organizations, and service providers with whom they may interact while purchasing a new home.

Ecosystem maps usually have a hub-and-spoke design — where people and things are connected to a central user (the hub) through lines of different lengths — or a ripple-like design of concentric circles. Both formats can be used, demonstrating the metaphorical distance between a person or thing and the user.

People with more influence or who interact with the user longer are closer to the nucleus, while people who interact with the user only indirectly or briefly lie further away in the structure. Ecosystem maps are not linear or chronological, although you can use the clockwise format to add a time element.

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