Article posted at adaptivepath.com here.
QuickTake: More than just buzzy jargon, touchpoint is a proper part of our design vocabulary–it’s the central way to view designing moments across increasingly-complex user journeys.
Defining the Touchpoint
A touchpoint is NOT a channel, platform or medium, as in the “phone touchpoint.” That gives no information from a human-centered perspective.
A touchpoint IS a point of interaction involving a specific human need in a specific time and place.
You design a touchpoint to support a specific moment in a user’s journey, ie for car rentals you Sign Up, Reserve Car, Begin Rental, Get Support etc.
A touchpoint meets user needs by delivering on a company’s value proposition in a specific time and place.
Concepts like features and functionality have to change with cross-channel digital ecosystems. The company’s value proposition changes from delivering a specific feature to delivering a specific experience across time.
A touchpoint may be a single microinteraction within a single channel, or a series of actions across multiple channels.
Most user journeys are defined by the flow of information. But increasingly users are interacting with it (gestures, voice etc) rather than passively receiving it.
A touchpoint is an information object wrapped in an interaction.
A journey > a touchpoint > an interaction > a microinteraction.
A touchpoint should be:
- Appropriate (context + culture)
- Relevant (meeting needs/functional)
- Meaningful (importance/purpose)
- Endearing (creating delight)
- Connected (seamless in the journey)