How to Create a User Journey Map?

How to Create a User Journey Map

Are you interested in learning how to create a user journey map?

Understanding the customer’s perspective is not an easy task. Just when you think you have got it right, there is a shift in customer needs, buying trends, the latest technologies, etc.

To keep up with the end-user market, product designers use several tools and techniques. A user journey map is one of them.

In this article, we are going to review what a user journey map is, its key features, and how you can create one. So, let’s start.

What is a User Journey Map?

A simple user journey map is a UX design tool that is used to visualize the relationship between a user and a product. It is the visual representation of all the steps a user takes on your business application to reach certain goals.

User journey mapping process creates a timeline of all customer touchpoints over time and across all channels. In addition to the series of actions that a user takes, it also defines the user’s aims and desires at each stage while using your business product.

A user can come to your website or app for multiple reasons. For example, signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product, subscribing to a service, etc. A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer journey for accomplishing all the possible tasks.

A complete user journey starts from the brand awareness stage through multiple user channels. A user entry point can be through a google search, a referral website, a paid ad on a social media app, etc. 

A user journey ends on the completion of the user goal and describes the customer’s feelings at the final stage. Is the user satisfied with the service? Or is the user frustrated due to some obstacles?

Why Create a Customer Journey Map?

As you can see a user journey map is like understanding your own product from a user’s point of view. Every business wants to provide a product or service that meets the target customer’s needs and makes the target audience satisfied.

A customer journey mapping helps product designers and developers in achieving just the same goal of user satisfaction. 

Your UX/UI designers can create a complete customer journey map template to understand user behavior at different stages of using your product and provide a better user experience.

A better customersf experience is built by putting oneself in the customer’s shoes and knowing what your customers want, what motivates them, what annoys them, etc. User journey maps can help you achieve this by visualizing users’ emotions and feelings throughout the journey on your business product.

A customer journey map is also an effective tool for better understanding and collaboration between different product development teams, designer teams, and stakeholders. 

Structural visualization of customer journeys showing user actions, touchpoints, and end-goals is an efficient way to communicate design plans with each other.

This is important because in real-life user journey mapping can become quite complex. There are multiple user entry points, multiple channels or paths that a user can take to accomplish one goal, and many elements are interlinked too.

Simple yet complete customer journey maps can help in efficiently understanding and communicating user paths. A better understanding of the user journey will ultimately lead to a better customer experience and UX/UI design of the end product.

Key Features of a User Journey Map:

Now, let’s discuss what are the main components of customer journey maps. These key features will help you in designing an effective customer journey map.

User Persona:

The data of end-users who use your product or service. It defines end-users demographics, goals, interests, etc.

A user persona gives an insight into the user market. It helps to carry out effective user research that helps to understand users’ demands and expectations. Moreover, it helps align these users’ goals with your business objectives.

User Scenario:

A user scenario describes the specific user’s situation and experience itself. A user scenario is linked with the user’s end goal and considers the user’s expectations throughout the user journey or experience.

End Goals:

These are the outcomes of a user journey. Tasks that users want to accomplish using a product or service.

User Journey’s Steps:

These are the intermediary steps that a user takes on a user path with an end goal in mind. It entails the customer’s experience at each step of the journey including, the user’s expectations, actions, associated emotions, feelings, etc.

Opportunities:

These are the opportunities identified by the design team through user journey mapping to improve user experience. Design and customer experience opportunities serve as an action plan for creating a user experience crucial for your business product and end-users.

Ownership:

There are different team members responsible for product design and user experience. There are different changes made to the product design using the identified opportunities.

Internal ownership tells who is responsible for the changes made. This gives a sense of responsibility and ownership to product designers and also helps with the accountability that comes with ownership.

How to Create a User Journey Map?

So, the question is how to create a user journey map that helps you deliver the best user experience to your customers. We will discuss this in detail now.

Define Business Goals

Your customer journey map must support your business goals. For this, clearly define your business objectives beforehand. What do you want to achieve through a better user experience?

A better customer retention rate? An increase in customer traffic? Better customer conversion rate? In this way, you will perform user journey mapping with the intention of achieving the set goals for your business.

Define the Scope of User Journey Map

Based on your set business goals detailed in the previous step, now you will set the scope of your customer journey maps. A journey map can be a macro-level interaction between a customer and your product or service or a micro-level interaction between the two.

A high-level or more detailed map will be an end-to-end interaction from the product acquisition stage to the final stage of using your product. 

A low-level user journey will be more focused on a particular task a user wants to accomplish using your product or service. For example, adding a product to a cart, adding payment details, etc.

Low-level user journeys are also mapped out in the form of user flow diagrams.

Create User Personas

A user journey is always focused on one actor – the end user. When it comes to user experience and expectations, gaining the correct user-focused viewpoint is very important. You don’t want to assume the wrong things about who your target audience is and what their expectations are.

Therefore, user market research is important. A user persona contains all the information on user data like demographics, goals, expectations regarding a product or service, etc. 

All this relevant data will help you understand user behavior when it comes to using your software product.

You can conduct user interviews, surveys and get questionnaires filled by your current and potential users to understand the user’s standpoint. For a new product, you can ask questions like:

  • What goals or tasks do you want to achieve using our product?
  • What do you think is the shortest and smoothest way to accomplish your task?

If your MVP is still in the market, you can ask questions like,

  • How easy is it to navigate through our software application?
  • What made you quit our software application?
  • What changes or new features would you like to have in the next product version?
  • What new features did not fulfill your expectation?

If you have different user segments, you should highlight the user persona for the most frequent end-user type. You can then start by creating the user journey for them. 

You can always go back and create another user journey map for other user types. 

For example, if you have an e-learning platform, the main end-users will be students and course instructors. Both types of users are important for you, and they both have entirely different user journeys on your platform.

Understand the Interaction between your Product and Users

Next, you will define the scenario of user interaction. This includes why, where, and how a user interacts with the product or service. 

If your product is already in the market, you can map real interactions by users, and if the product is not developed yet, you can anticipate how a user will interact to accomplish a particular goal with your product.

In this step, you will also highlight the user’s motivation to use the product for a particular task including, the user’s expectations and the actual customer interactions.

For example, a user wishes to order Chinese cuisine from your mobile application and expects to find a category listing all the available Chinese food.

Create a List of all Touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the actions users can take when using your product. Listing all the important touchpoints and associated channels will help you map a complete user journey. Several things to consider in this step include:

Actions

All the actions that are possible on your app or website. Searching for a product, viewing product details, checking store quantity, and so on. Customer interaction also includes searching your product on Google, viewing your email, leaving a review, etc.

This starts with the different ways the user ends up using your product, then covers the steps taken by a user for completing a task, and finally, how users leave when the task completes.

The associated channels are also necessary to mention. For example, when buying a product, a user can either add to a cart for buying online or check store quantity to locate a store where the product is available to get in person.

Similarly, there can be multiple channels for shipments like home delivery, nearest store delivery for a pickup, etc.

You will have to consider all the related channels to create a complete user journey. This will help you correctly understand how users interact to provide the best user experience.

Emotions

Users’ feelings and motivation form a huge part of a user’s journey. You want to know a user’s mindset when performing certain tasks.

Why does a user want to do this? The answer to this question will help you with designing the right experience by providing all the necessary actions, information content, etc.

Painpoints

Recognizing the obstacle your users are facing is equally important. What steps in the user journey do they find frustrating? What are the customer pain points in the smooth user journey? 

For example, what made a user abandon their shopping cart?

Was it high shipping charges? Is it a lack of payment options? Is the shipping information not clear enough on your website?

Understanding these pain points will help you quickly remove them from the user path. For example, you can add FAQs page visibly on your web pages, add a customer support plugin for quickly answering customer questions, etc.

In short, you will be able to quickly achieve your business goals (customer conversion, increased sales, etc.) by actively mitigating user pain points on your business app or website.

Sketch the User Journey

Now with all the information that you have gathered relating to user personas, users’ motivations, expectations, pain points, etc., you are ready to sketch the user journey. An effective way of creating customer journey maps is narrating the customer’s interaction with your product.

Storyboards are commonly used tools for creating such narrations of a user’s journey through visualizations. You will draw up a step-by-step interaction with a user. You will also consider the user’s feelings at each stage. 

If, at any step. you feel some information is missing and identify gaps, you again go back and perform research instead of making assumptions about user interaction which is very likely since you are ‘creating the product or service’.

Performing the required user research is necessary to map a customer’s journey from a user’s perspective completely.

Pay Attention to User’s Emotions

At this point, I’m sure you have understood the importance of the users’ perspective and most importantly users’ emotional states. 

When creating customer journey maps, users’ emotions at each stage are also mapped and analyzed separately to get a better understanding of how a user feels at each stage.

An empathy map can be developed to see how a user reacts to each stage of product interaction. These include ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. Read more about an empathy map here.

The reason user emotions are given a lot of importance in the design process is that when users are understood at an emotional level by the product designers, more user-focused products are created.

You can read more on design-led software product development on our blog here.

Refine your Customer Journey Map

You can only refine your customer journey for better after testing it on actual end-users. Usability testing is an important process for validating your customer journey map. 

User behavior can change frequently, and you need to stay updated on the latest trends in the user market. This means regular UX/UI design testing should be an important part of your product maintenance plan.

User surveys can help you collect user feedback on new design decisions. You can use data analytic tools to gather and analyze the collected user feedback data. 

Implement User Journey Findings

A customer journey map is useful as long as it fulfills the purpose behind it. That is, improves the user experience. Use your user journey to actively convey design improvements to other product development teams and stakeholders.

Moreover, act upon the findings of the user journey research to provide a customer experience according to the actual user’s expectations.

You can find interesting customer journey mapping examples on this blog.

Final Thoughts:

Delivering an excellent customer experience is of utmost importance for every business. A user journey is an important design tool for UX/UI designers to achieve this goal.

A complete customer journey map template can help your design team in multiple ways, from understanding target users’ goals and emotions to meeting their expectations through appropriate feature layouts and facilitating collaboration and communication between a project manager and development teams.

Read our blog on hiring the best UX/UI designers to help you create customer experiences through design techniques.

If you are still looking for experienced UX/UI developers to implement a user journey map template for your business product, DevTeam.Space can help you.

You can get in touch via this quick form describing your initial design requirements. One of our technical managers will get in touch with you to further answer your questions and connect you with the field-expert product designers.

Top FAQs on How to Create a User Journey Map

1. What is a user journey map?

User journey maps describe a relationship between a user and the business. The customer journey map template starts from the brand awareness stage and comprises all the interactions that take place between a user and the business product.

2. What are the benefits of user journey mapping for my business?

A user journey map helps businesses to understand their target audience. It helps designers to deliver the best user experience according to their expectations. Moreover, it helps to align business goals with the user goals enhancing collaboration between different product development teams at the same time.

3. How to create a customer journey map?

To create a user journey map, you should start by defining your business goals. Conduct research on the user market and create user personas. Define how a customer interacts and sketch out the user interaction journey keeping in mind user emotions and expectations at each stage. Continuously test and improve user journey maps to keep up with changing user behavior.


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