Explore how the user will interact with your organisation and surface opportunities to create a better user experience.
Why do it?
User journey mapping takes the persona goals and turns them into a narrative. They tell the story of how a user interact with an organisation both through the website and any other touch points. Along with personas, they put the focus on the user, forcing everyone in the organisation to pay attention to them. This will increase user satisfaction and conversion rates, break down organisational silos and create a cross-organisational view of the user.
With a new website, user journey maps provide guides to help define the structure and content.
With an existing website, where usability testing or analytics indicate problems, user journey maps can identify improvements and help re-engineer processes.
“To be convincing and compelling, journey maps must be based in truth, rather than a fairy-tale–like depiction of how we would like users to interact with our products.” – NNg
How we do it
We believe there are two important elements in user journey mapping:
- Firstly, it should be based on evidence: we usually do user journey mapping after the development of personas, which themselves will be based on user evidence gained from interviews, observations, surveys etc.
- Secondly, they should be developed as a collaborative process between us, our direct client and other people from across the client organisation who can affect the user experience. This is to ensure the journeys are owned by the organisation, identify broader digital and non-digital opportunities to support the web journey, and avoid a “consultant’s solution”.
A step-by-step approach
Step 1: Agree which user the map is for. This could be from existing personas or user research we have conducted as part of a wider project.
Step 2: A collaborative workshop. With the persona and one of their goals as the starting point, and the user evidence that underpins this, we start to develop the narrative around what expectations the persona has, what motivates her, and what she’s doing and thinking. Working as a team – and with post-it notes – we start to identify the phases of the process the persona is going through. For each phase we consider the actions the persona will take and how she feels.
Step 3: Add touch points. The map will detail the touch points the persona has with the organisation, the devices used, and the way in which they interact – as well as the website this may be through other channels such as social media, face-to-face or telephone contact. This is important because it will yield a more holistic understanding of the customer experience and highlight responsibilities outside the digital team for delivering a good user experience.
”The UX content efforts must support every aspect of the experience, whether it’s online or not.” – Jared Spool
Step 4: Identify opportunities for optimisation. We then review this journey to identify opportunities to make this experience the best it can be.
Step 5: Create some pretty images. These outputs are captured in a visual representation that can then be shared and used.
The journey map provides the big picture view for personas’ high-level goals. The goals can also be broken down into more granular user stories. A similar approach can also be used to produce a user story map to get a more micro understanding of content and functionality opportunities.