What is Journey Mapping?

Customer journey maps can be used to understand the relationship between a customer and a business over time. You can visualize the customer journey through the maps and track their interactions across all channels. Design teams can use customer journey maps to understand their customers’ experience, find out their customer expectations and identify areas where they can improve.

In this blog, we want to take a brief look at journey mapping to understand what it is, how it functions, and how it can be used to improve the experience you provide.

Tell customer stories

Journey mapping is about telling customer stories. They are research-based tools that provide designers with a clear narrative about their users that can improve the overall experience of all of their customers. With journey mapping, team members have the opportunity to examine tasks and interactions to determine whether their design fails to meet the needs of their customers. These maps should be rich with detail and indicate the most important tasks and events.

In general, a journey map should include:

  1. A timescale - a set journey period (e.g., one week or one month) that allows in-depth and sustained evaluation of the customer journey.
  2. Scenarios - the context and sequence of events, from first to last.
  3. Touchpoints - how the user interacts with your design.
  4. Channels - where the user interacts with your design and performs actions.
  5. Thoughts that arise from interactions - what the user thinks and feels throughout their journey.

The step-by-step process of user journey mapping

To ensure you get the most out of your user journey mapping, it’s essential to know the goals of your business, the intention behind your product, and your hopes for the future of the product. This will help you to align your aspirations with those of your users.

  1. Choose a scope - Do you want a user journey map that shows the end-to-end experience, or do you want a more detailed map that’s focused on a single interaction? that shows the end-to-end expertise or a more detailed map
  2. Create a user persona - Who is your user? Interview prospective users, understand the context around your users and analyze the results.
  3. Define the scenario and the user expectations - What is the situation you want to address? Is it actual or anticipated? What kind of expectations does the user have when interacting with your product?
  4. Understand your touchpoints - Create a list of touchpoints (user actions and interactions with the product)
  5. Understand user intention - What motivates your users to interact with your product?
  6. Formulate the journey - Make a sketch of the entire user journey and understand each step and interaction
  7. Understand the user during interactions - What does your user feel when interacting with your product? Considering their emotional state and their decisions will help you connect with them on an authentic, human level.
  8. Refine user journey - Ensure that your journey is realistic and relatable. Creating validated and refined user journeys is essential if the mapping process is valid.


Journey map variations

Several concepts are closely related to journey mapping. Let’s take a look at what makes them both similar and different.

Experience map

An experience map is far broader than a journey map. An experience map aims to understand general behavior, whereas journey mapping focuses on a specific product and a specific set of users. For example, an experience map can be used to know how you can solve a problem and isolate pain points.

On the other hand, a journey map can be used later on to take these pain points, assign them to a specific product and understand whether or not that product is meeting the customer needs. Therefore, to gain a complete understanding, you could use an experience map for the early stages and then a journey map later on.

User story map

User story mapping is a UX-mapping technique often used by Agile teams that helps plan features and functionalities. With user stories, mapping teams will sketch or use sticky notes to outline the interactions they want their users to go through to complete their goals with a digital product.

It is a helpful, visual way of condensing information and seeing everything from the user’s point of view. In general, the user story map is more about planning and implementation, whereas journey mapping is about discovery and understanding. With user story mapping, you could be more focused, specific, and detailed, whereas; journey mapping prioritizes the big picture and the whole customer journey.

 Service blueprint

Service blueprints can function as extensions of journey maps. Suppose experience maps are the broad version of journey maps. In that case, service blueprints are the complete opposite: a focused method of visualizing specific components at touchpoints in a specific user journey.

A service blueprint can help you address what you do internally to support the customer journey. In every business, the nature of the service blueprint will differ, but, in general, it should provide a framework to understand each touchpoint and help you thoroughly examine specific customer journeys.

Success through journey mapping

With journey mapping, product managers, designers, and developers can gain a holistic view of the customer experience. They can uncover points of frustration, illuminate moments of ecstasy and really dig into why some interactions work and others fail. It is not a fool-proof system, but it simplifies the whole customer process. If done successfully, journey mapping reveals opportunities to address customer pain points and create an improved experience for your users.

Are you ready to start improving your users’ journey? If you’re curious about the next steps you should take, feel free to get in contact with our experts here at Radiant digital.



The Significance of User Journey Mapping in Enterprise UX

The success of UX designers depends not just on the design quality and appeal but the whole user experience that their design delivers. However, they often overlook their design’s impact and focus instead on individual features and processes. Journey mapping helps deep dive into the user's thoughts, experiences, expectations, opportunities, decisions, negotiations, outcomes, etc., using a timeline of events based on a shared vision. At Radiant Digital, we implement multiple journey mapping exercises to converge visuals, narratives, and KPIs and make UX valuable. This blog explores how journey maps can give holistic insights into the user and design experience.

Defining a User Journey Map

A user journey map is a visualization of a user’s interactions and relationships with a product/brand across different channels over a defined period. It covers user actions, interaction channels, and tasks based on a user’s persona, roles, responsibilities, and goals. Here’s a sample template.

A simple User Journey map is given below.

Types of User Journey Maps

Different user journey maps help reach various goals and depend on how the user interacts with a product. Here’s a brief rundown of the user journey maps available today.

  • Experience maps offer a skeletal view of the user journey and help track scenario-based user behaviors, wants, and needs at different process phases. They help visualize the user actions to achieve the desired goal without focusing on a specific company, service, or product.
  • Empathy maps are divided into four sections where you can track what a user thinks, says, does, and feels based on what they want when using a product (without following a sequence). They are usually created during real-time user interviews about the user’s experience.
  • Current State maps illustrate the factors and levels of user engagement at every product touchpoint in its current state.
  • Future state maps replace vision boards and help envision how your customers would use your product (based on your predictions and expectations and define future events based on the best-case scenarios for a design.

  • Service blueprints reveal hiccups in the business processes of a user journey map. Customer behavior is the primary consideration in performing the customer-centric mapping. They focus on four areas, namely:
  1. User actions: What end-users do when engaging with a design.
  2. Frontstage actions: Actions on the front-end UI are visible to the customer.
  3. Backstage actions: Events and actions that occur on the backend, hidden from the user’s view.
  4. Processes: All of the enterprise events and inner processes that affect the UX design.

How to create a user journey map for your onboarding UX?

A user journey map includes the process steps from the moment a potential user learns about your UX design, all the way to where they start and stop using it. The generic sequence is given below.

  1. Defining Scope and Focus of the Map: The first step is to define the user journey map’s scope and business scenario. Representing the entire process in a single map is complex yet beneficial. The focus of the map should at least include the following:
  • The current business actions, activities, workflows, and tasks.
  • The roles involved in the UX design process.
  • Customer touchpoints and interactions (tools, devices, information involved).
  • Pain points (inefficiencies, redundancies, challenges, and gaps).
  1. Additional Map Elements: A journey map needs to tell the whole story of a user’s experience along with additional elements like:
  • Context (environment, situation, dependencies).
  • Processes performed outside the system.
  • Process contingencies.
  • Current performance metrics and KPIs.
  • Relevant legal regulations and protocols.

Deep research helps clarify what additional information you may need to depict on the map based on the story you need to demonstrate.

  1. Create User Personas: User personas are generalized profiles outlining the common user archetypes to understand who you're designing for based on their actions and goals. Once you have your user personas charted out, gather and analyze all available information on them in one of the following ways:
  • First, interviewing your actual or potential users.
  • Conducting contextual inquiry.
  • Analyzing user surveys responses.
  1. Take user intention into account: It’s essential to understand your users’ motivations and challenges while interacting with your design. Thus, for each user journey, it’s crucial to identify them,
  • Motivation: Why do users use your design, and what are their expectations?
  • Channels: Where do interactions take place?
  • Actions: What actual steps do users take and under what circumstances?
  • Pain points: What are the challenges users tend to face at different touchpoints?
  • Mental models: What is your user’s conception of the problem that your design addresses? What connections come naturally to them, and what training do they need? What emotions do they feel when using your design?

Empathy maps are helpful in mirroring the mental state of users for your designs. For example, using an emotional experience graph like the one shown below is very helpful.

  1. Map out their journey: Before constructing a map for each persona, start with a generic user journey template. Then, through user research and relevant data collection, you can complete this template with:
  • User touchpoints.
  • Benchmark tasks, actions, and results within the design.
  • Scheduled notifications.
  • Interaction channels.
  • Customer feedback and behavioral analytics.
  1. Review, validate, and refine user journey: Review your user journey map for any missing connections, challenges, and areas of improvement. Finally, present it to your stakeholders for review and feedback.

Concluding Thoughts

Creating a user journey map aims to develop a shared vision among designers, stakeholders, and end-to-end can fuel business engagement and growth. Connect with Radiant Digital to leverage user journey maps and transform your product-led user experiences.