Journey (noun.)

Definition: The steps taken within or between locations.

Also referenced as: Journey Map (noun)

Related to: Context, Direction, Ecosystem, Experience, Interact, Level, Location, Path, Place, Placemaking, Progress, System, User



The word journey was used 6 times across 6 pages


Chapter 1: Identify the Mess | Page 6

It's hard to be the one to say that something is a mess. Like a little kid standing at the edge of a dark room, we can be paralyzed by fear and not even know how to approach the mess.

These are the moments where confusion, procrastination, self-criticism, and frustration keep us from changing the world.

The first step to taming any mess is to shine a light on it so you can outline its edges and depths.

Once you brighten up your workspace, you can guide yourself through the complex journey of making sense of the mess.

I wrote this simple guidebook to help even the least experienced sensemakers tame the messes made of information (and people!) they're sure to encounter.



Chapter 1: Identify the Mess | Page 18

Knowing is not enough. Knowing too much can encourage us to procrastinate. There's a certain point when continuing to know at the expense of doing allows the mess to grow further.

Practicing information architecture means exhibiting the courage to push past the edges of your current reality. It means asking questions that inspire change. It takes honesty and confidence in other people.

Sometimes, we have to move forward knowing that other people tried to make sense of this mess and failed. We may need to shine the light brighter or longer than they did. Perhaps now is a better time. We may know the outcomes of their fate, but we don't know our own yet. We can't until we try.

What if turning on the light reveals that the room is full of scary trolls? What if the light reveals the room is actually empty? Worse yet, what if turning on the light makes us realize we've been living in darkness?

The truth is that these are all potential realities, and understanding that is part of the journey. The only way to know what happens next is to do it.



Chapter 3: Face Reality | Page 36

Whenever we're making something, there are moments when it's no longer time to ponder. It's time to act, to make, to realize, and perhaps to fail.

Fear is an obvious but elusive partner in these moments. Fear can walk ahead of us and get all the glory, leaving us pondering and restless for more, more, more. Maybe we fear failure. Maybe we fear success. Maybe we fear light being shined our way.

Confronting your fears and knowing what is real is an important part of making sense of a mess.

Facing reality is the next step on our journey. In this chapter, we'll discuss rabbit holes of reality you are likely to have to explore as well as some diagrammatic techniques you can take with you to document what you find down there.

Before we go on, I have to warn you of the many opportunities ahead to lose faith in yourself as you climb through and understand the details of your reality. It can start to feel like the mess wants you to fail in making sense of it. Don't worry. That thought has occurred to everyone who has ever tried to change something. We all have to deal with reality. We all want what we want and then get what we get.



Chapter 3: Face Reality | Page 58

A journey map shows all of the steps and places that make up a person or group's experience.

The rows represent the user's context (e.g., outside, on the bus, at home). Each point represents an event or a task that makes up the overall journey. Each point is placed sequentially as it relates to the other points.

This example shows events that only involve one person, but journey maps are also useful for showing the movement of pairs, teams, and organizations.



Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 65

Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything connects to a larger whole. Whenever you're making something, figure out which levels you're working at:

Object: a specific thing.
Interface: a point where a user affects that thing.
Location: a particular place or position.
Journey: the steps in or between locations.
Structure: a configuration of objects and locations.
System: a set of structures working together.
Ecosystem: a collection of related systems.


Chapter 7: Prepare to Adjust | Page 118

From moment to moment, the directions we choose forever change the objects we make, the effects we see, and the experiences we have.

As we move towards our goals, things change and new insights become available. Things always change when we begin to understand what we couldn't make sense of before. As a sensemaker, the most important skill you can learn is to adjust your course to accommodate new forces as you encounter them on your journey.

Don't seek finalization. Trying to make something that will never change can be super frustrating. Sure, it's work to move those boxes and arrows around as things change. But that is the work, not a reason to avoid making a plan. Taking in feedback from other people and continuously refining the pieces as well as the whole is what assures that something is "good."

Don't procrastinate. Messes only grow with time. You can easily make excuses and hold off on doing something until the conditions are right, or things seem stable.

Perfection isn't possible, but progress is.