Augmenting customer journey maps

In this project, I explored, within a design team, the use of eye tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) in quantifying experiences in a university canteen and a simulated tourist office. Here, we focused on a widely accepted design tool to map experiences, the customer journey.

The customer journey is a sequential visualization of all possible touch points of a service with customers. These touch points consist of tangible artifacts and intangible activities that happen in a physical space involving a front stage and a back stage.

The customer journey map, however, only represents the activities of the front stage, visible to the customer and therefore critical in forming the customer experience. Currently, customer journeys only rely on qualitative anecdotal data, and thus lacking an estimation of the weight that designers could attribute to each encountered experience.

The aim of this work was to introduce and explore quantitative methods to measure customer experiences in service design.

We explored the use of Neurosky (a commercially available tool to measure EEG)  and Tobii glasses (an eye tracker to measure attention levels and eye movements) in different case studies and compared scenarios of a customer journey. Next, is an example of a tourist office case study using Tobii.

A Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) 

We set up a mixed reality immersive Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) to evaluate a design concept of a tourist information office using eye tracking. The synthetic office consists of physical artifacts and virtual contents projected onto three walls of a room-sized cube. A controlled study was conducted with a goal-oriented condition and a free-browsing condition while subjects were wearing the eye tracker. Multiple Augmented Reality (AR) markers were used to reconstruct gaze positions in the coordinate system of the real environment. The gaze points were later aggregated to create heat maps, further used as textures for a computer 3D model replication of the synthetic tourist office. The 3D heat map showcases different viewing patterns for different conditions.

Top left: the simulated tourist office. Top right: AR markers in virtual space. Bottom left: heat map of the free-browsing condition. Bottom right: heat map of goal-directed task condition.

Tools, skills, and experience

In this project, I collaborated with computer scientists, and I:

  • Worked on reconceptualizing service design tools such as customer journey maps and experience prototyping
  • Set up and conducted user research using  a think-aloud protocol
  • Helped set up a 3D Cave Automatic Virtual Environment
  • Collected and analyzed quantitative data using Neurosky Mindwave for EEG data (i.e., attention and meditation) and Tobii glasses for eye tracking (i.e., gaze, fixations, and eye blinks)


Insights from this work are expected to lead to a better understanding of customers’ experiences throughout the service, new customer journey visualization methods and improvements in service design deliverables. We further suggest the combination of eye-tracking and mixed reality environment to be a valuable tool for prototyping service design of similar kinds.

Studies in this project were presented in (1) Designing Interactive Systems: Alves, R., Lim, V., Niforatos, E., Chen, M., Karapanos, E., Nunes, N. (2012). Augmenting Customer Journey Maps with quantitative empirical data: a case on EEG and eye tracking; in (2) APCHI: Lim, V., Alves, R., Niforatos, E., Chen, M., Karapanos, E., Nunes, N. (2012). Exploring the use of EEG and Eye Tracking in Understanding Customer Experiences for Service Design; And in (3) INTERACT: Chen, M. C., Lim, V. (2013). Tracking Eyes in Service Prototyping.


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