The purpose of creating user journeys is to find a framework by which we can hold, portray and make sense of all of the user information that we have gathered from our research. With our understanding of our users, we write down how they experience our services from their perspective.
They allow us to chart user experiences (as opposed to process mapping). Through this we can more easily identify overlap/gaps and highs/lows. By charting steps by time, running left to right we are able to recapture stories from research in an appropriate framework that re-presents our problem in an entirely new way.
How do you map journeys?
Pick a persona to work with and consider the journey from their perspective. Sometimes users with extreme knowledge of the service can be most helpful to map. Consider the type of map and most appropriate timescale (what are the typical end-to-end timeframes of the service?). Start with writing down broad phases (e.g. attract, decide, use, support, retain). Write down the detailed steps that are being taken underneath the phases. Analyse every step of the journey and establish what the customer experiences as a series of major and minor touchpoints.
We need to examine and analyse the different user journeys that we have mapped to see where the real problems are and where opportunities for change might lie. There might be activities we need to stop doing, some we need to do better and other new ones which we need to introduce to benefit our users.
We use the journeys that we have created to examine where things go well and where they could go better for our users. Offering up what actually happens, against what users would like to happen or known key user challenges (based on our insights) we can start to identify where we need to work hardest to improve our users’ experiences
It is important to know our users’ real needs. What people say and do can be quite different. What have users really “told” us about their experiences? Remember what people say and do can sometimes be completely different.
- Do this as a large group – the more heads the better
- If you start thinking of ideas for solutions while mapping, put them in an “ideas fridge” so they can be reviewed later – don’t get distracted at this point