When journey mapping as a team, we make sure to set up our journey mapping surface at standing height — this results in better collaborative engagement & energy.
This is straightforward to do when mapping directly on a wall on or large-format paper taped to a wall. But, when working with foamboard (my preference), setting the boards up at standing-height is not as simple — note that we like to use the large 4’x8’ foamboards.
Around our office, we have found a couple simple (albeit informal) ways to set foamboards up at a workable height:
As you can see in the picture, we will 1) use chairs to prop the foamboard up (one at either side) and lean the top of the board against a wall; and 2) use a whiteboard by setting the bottom edge of a foamboard in the marker tray and leaning the top back like above… we especially like using rolling whiteboards as we can easily set up and move the journey boards where we want them.
But, as we’ve been preparing for our upcoming CX Journey Mapping (CXJM) Workshops, we realized that neither of these approaches are optimal for running a large workshop, in a remote (less predictable) location, with many participants and breakout groups, and a large quantity of mapping boards.
So, I explored hacking together a simple way to set up a large number of journey boards at standing height. The constraints I embraced: the hack had to be 1) cost-effective, 2) easy to build and set up in a remote location, and 3) presentable for a market-facing event. How’s that for a challenge?
After a couple runs to Home Depot and a few prototypes, here’s how the design turned out:
Super simple. Only 3 different easy-to-find parts are required (total part count of 10, with multiples of each). If you have a Home Depot nearby (or equivalent), you can build these in no time. All you need is:
- Two 6 ½ foot lengths of ¾ inch dia. electrical pipe conduit — note that these come in 10 ft lengths, but I’ve always had luck asking the folks in plumbing to cut them to length on their pipe cutter
- One 4-pack of rubber leg tips — for end-capping the pipe and providing grip against the floor and wall as appropriate
- Four 2” spring clamps — for attaching the conduit to the foamboard (at either end like legs)
- Optional tie wraps — if you’re leaning two boards together for a free-standing a-frame
Here’s a detailed parts list (pdf) with pictures of everything you need. We simply print this out and bring it to the store, and encourage you to do the same. Happy hacking!