Ecosystem maps are tools that designers create to understand the relationships and dependencies between the various actors and parts that contribute to creating customer experiences. An ecosystem is these actors, parts and dynamics. The maps reveal areas to optimize in services to deliver the best customer experiences.
An ecosystem map is a synthetic representation capturing all the key roles that have an influence on the user, organization and service environment. The ecosystem map is built by first displaying all the entities, and then connecting them based on the type of value they exchange. It can be used to uncover existing gaps and identify valuable opportunities for synergies.
What is an Ecosystem?
An ecosystem is the term given to a set of products, services, and people that function together in a symbiotic way. As an interaction designer working at a consultancy, I often meet clients who want to integrate all sorts of functionality into their digital solutions—email, Facebook, SMS—without really considering if that inclusion will actually add value for their users. Rather than unilaterally connecting all possible digital channels and launching a “family” of related products and services, designers need to determine ways in which ecosystems can act together in service of their client’s business goals.
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