Effect Mapping

EffectMapService2The effect map is an extremely effective method to identify what an interactive solution should contain. It tells you which features are adding value to the business and which should be avoided.

The effect map is the main tool in effect management method underlying all the design work I do. The Effect map is used as a foundation for identifying requirements. It centers around the idea that only the features contributing to an actual need from a user can be expected to give any return on investment. In this way guidance to what interactive system should contain.

Setting up an Effect Map is usually done in a workshop where all major stake holders are invited. In this workshop the participants are asked a few very specific questions. The answer to each question leads to the next.

Were business and user goals meet


The effect map is a way to connect business goals to the user groups and their goals when using the solution. Each respective feature in the software is connected to one or more usage goal to ensure that the feature will be used and thereby add value to the business.

  • The first question is: “What are the business goals” The answer defines what larger good the interactive soulution should contribute to.
  • The next question is: “Who will, by using the system, ensure that the business goals are fulfilled.” The answer determines which tartget groups the system should be designed for. The defined groups are prioritized.
  • Then follows the key question: “What goals do these users have while using the software”. The defined usage goals are then also prioritized.
  • The last question should not be asked before the usage goals are stated and prioritized: “What features would fulfill the users goals as well as the business goals” By prioritizing the stated features connected to each usage goal.

When all the questions are answered the result will be a well organized feature list sorted after importance and impact on the business. The most important function, fulfilling the goals of the primary target group should be developed before you go on the the next. In this way the Effect Map guides you through all stages of the design and development process. It also makes it much easier to manage bug reports and customer feedback after the system is released.

In this blog post i expand on why effect management has become so imortant to me as a designer.

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Words from my clients

Mårten helped us find new ways of doing business!
Pontus Rosin, Partner, Adeptic Technologies AB
It’s genius in its simplicity!
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Jonas Persson, CEO, Box Experience
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Mårten Angner | Interaction Design Technology | Fredsborgsgatan 25 117 58 Stockholm | marten@angner.se | +46707770579