WHEN YOU STRIVE to put people at the center of every new idea, it’s worth asking questions like: Who is involved? What do they care about? How much influence do they have? Answering these questions helps ensure that the people served by your design will be thoughtfully considered throughout the design effort. If you are able to step back and see an entire landscape of people, you may discover design opportunities previously obscured by a limited perception of your potential impact. Seeing the system as a whole can serve to reorient your team’s approach or even lead to a redefinition of the problem.
The balance of any ecosystem is defined by the interrelationships of its parts. Each individual unit, whether key or peripheral, plays a role in how the system works. As a visualization of people’s relationships, interactions, and needs, a Stakeholder Map helps you understand the extent and impact of your design decisions.