Imagine a world where your favorite apps and websites are so easy to use, you feel like they were designed just for you. You can find what you're looking for in seconds, and the whole experience is seamless delight. That's the power of User Experience (UX) at its best.
One of the processes behind creating such exceptional UX is UX journey mapping.
UX journey mapping is a process of understanding your users' needs, goals, and pain points, and then using that information to design experiences that are seamless, efficient, and enjoyable.
This article will explore:
So whether you're a seasoned designer honing your skills or a newcomer eager to unlock the mysteries of UX Journey Mapping, come on in, the water’s fiine..
UX journey maps and customer journey maps are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle but important difference between the two.
A UX journey (user journey) map is a visual representation of the steps that a user takes to achieve a goal with a product or service. It includes the user's thoughts, feelings, and pain points at each step.
Customer journey maps are a powerful tool for understanding your customers' needs, motivations, and obstacles. By mapping out the customer journey from start to finish, you can identify key touchpoints, opportunities for improvement, and areas where your customers are struggling.
User journey maps:
Customer journey maps:
In other words, user journey maps focus on a specific task or goal, while customer journey maps focus on the overall customer experience.
Imagine your customer as a traveler on a roadtrip. They have a destination in mind, but they need help getting there. Your customer journey map is a roadmap, guiding your customers along the way.
As your customers drives down on the route you’ve etched out, they will encounter different touchpoints, such as your website, social media pages, customer service team, and product. At each touchpoint, your customers will have certain needs, motivations, and obstacles.
Your customer journey map should help you to understand the following:
Once you have a good understanding of your customers' needs, motivations, and obstacles, you can start to identify opportunities for improvement.
For example, if you find that many of your customers are struggling to find the information they need on your website, you can make improvements to the navigation or add more search functionality.
Customer journey maps are most effective when they are based on real data, such as customer interviews and observations.
When possible, use your customer journey map to document and summarize interviews and observations with real people. This will help you to get a more accurate understanding of your customers' experiences.
Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process for solving problems and creating new ideas that are informed by user needs. UX Journey Mapping is a powerful tool to assist with this.
User journey maps are a powerful tool for design teams because they help teams to understand users, define problems, ideate solutions, prototype solutions, and test solutions.
Here is an example of how UX Journey Mapping can be used in design thinking:
A product team is working on designing a new mobile app. They start by creating a UX Journey Map to understand the current user experience. The UX Journey Map reveals that users are frustrated with the long and complicated checkout process.
The team then uses the UX Journey Map to ideate ways to improve the checkout process. They come up with a number of ideas, such as reducing the number of steps in the checkout process and allowing users to checkout with a single click.
The team then creates a prototype of the new checkout process and tests it with users. They can move faster through the new checkout process, but they identify a couple of small glitches with the time taken for the payment gateway page to load.
The team iterates on the prototype, and fixes the glitches. They tests it with users again. Ultimately, the app has a checkout process that is significantly faster and easier to use. Hallelujah!
What do you want to learn from your journey map? Are you trying to understand how users interact with your product or service? Are you trying to identify opportunities to improve the customer experience?
Who is the user that you are mapping? What are their needs, goals, and pain points? The more you know about your persona, the more accurate your journey map will be.
Mark down all the interaction points the user/customer has with the product, like website visits, Facebook ads or customer service calls. Include everything from marketing and sales to customer service and support.
Collect data about user interactions at each touchpoint, and what they thought of it. How did users feel about the new payment gateway platform? Did everyone find the new mobile app UI equally accessible? What did customers think of the placing of the support form on the website homepage?
This information can be gathered from surveys, interviews, analytics, and customer support records.
Construct a timeline that represents the user's journey from the initial touchpoint to the final one. It’s usually linear, and the foundational for the UX journey map.
Fill in the emotions and actions the user/customer undertakes at each touchpoint? Does the viewer feel frustrated when they try to find something to watch on the video streaming platform website? Add an angry emoji there. Also minutely map out the actions required at each stage - clicking, scrolling, password entry etc..
This is when the picture starts to emerge. Based on the data you have just filled in, write down the parts where the users experience challenges, or highs. What makes them happy, and what doesn’t?
Put it all together in a pretty Figjam board, or an actual whiteboard! Create a visual representation of the journey map with symbols, emojis, arrows and digital tools. We’ve created a gorgeous template for you and linked it below, to fast-forward through this step.
Once you have analyzed the journey, share it with your team and stakeholders. The user journey may involve multiple efforts in your organization, so inform stakeholders if they can help make the buyer journey more customer-centric.
A UX journey map is an constantly-evolving document, so update it often. If the product team makes changes to a particular feature or user touchpoint, update it with all the feedback about it on the map. User journeys change over time, your ux journey map should reflect that.
The more specific you are, the more accurate and useful your journey map will be. For example, instead of mapping out the user journey for "purchasing a product," map out the user journey for "purchasing a new pair of shoes from our website."
The journey map should be from the user's perspective, not your own. Focus on the user's thoughts, feelings, and pain points at each step of the journey.
Journey maps are most effective when they are visual. Use diagrams, illustrations, and other visuals to represent the user journey.
Journey maps should be created collaboratively with your team and stakeholders. This will help to ensure that everyone is aligned on the user experience and that you are all working towards the same goals.
Ask customers how they found out about your company and how they interact with your brand through user interviews. Also psst, Looppanel can help automatically transcribe and take notes of your user interviews,
Your customer journey map may change and evolve over time. Keep your customer journey map current by storing all of your customer research data in one place. This makes it easy to find areas where the customer experience can be enhanced.
You should base your customer journey map on data and interviews from actual customers, but you should also check if your map reflects their true experience. Get feedback from customers with user interviews, surveys etc. on improving the experience.
There are a number of user journey map tools available, both free and paid. Some of the most popular tools include:
Miro is a collaborative whiteboard tool that can be used to create user journey maps. It has a variety of templates and features to help you create visually appealing and informative journey maps.
Mural is another collaborative whiteboard tool that can be used to create user journey maps. It offers a variety of features to help you create and share journey maps with your team and stakeholders.
Lucidchart is a diagramming and visualization tool that can be used to create user journey maps. It offers a variety of templates and features to help you create professional-looking journey maps.
Google Slides is a presentation tool that can be used to create user journey maps. There are a variety of templates and features on Google slides to help you create visually appealing and informative journey maps.
Microsoft PowerPoint is another presentation tool that can be used to create user journey maps. With different templates and features on Microsoft PowerPoint, you can create professional-looking journey maps.
Figma is a design tool that can be used to create user journey maps. Figma offers a variety of features to help you create visually appealing and interactive journey maps.
In addition to these general-purpose tools, there are also a number of user journey map tools that are specifically designed for UX professionals.
UXPressia is a user journey mapping tool that offers a variety of features to help UX professionals create user journey maps, including persona management, journey mapping templates, and collaboration tools.
JourneyMap is a user journey mapping tool that offers a variety of features to help UX professionals create user journey maps, including persona management, journey mapping templates, and reporting tools.
Smaply is also a user journey mapping tool that offers a variety of features to help UX professionals create user journey maps, including persona management, journey mapping templates, and collaboration tools.
To help you get started, here's a simple template to build your next user/customer journey map with. Happy mapping!
Download a FREE template for your own user/customer journey map here.
Looppanel automatically records your calls, transcribes them, and centralizes all your research data in one place