A user journey map (also known as a customer journey map) is a diagram that visually illustrates the user flow through your site, starting with initial contact or discovery, and continuing through the process of engagement into long-term loyalty and advocacy.
How to Create a User Journey Map
Before getting started, you should review and state your business goal, since the journey you provide your customer needs to meets these internal goals.
In addition, you will need to rely on user research – both qualitative and quantitative – to inform the process. Quantitative data helps you understand customer pain points, behaviors and actions on your site. Qualitative data is more nuanced, and involves actual observations and one-on-one interviews where you ask your customers directly about their thoughts and feelings at each step of the journey.
Step 1: Choose Your Personas
Your personas are representations of your target customer, and can include such information as age, occupation, location, as well as details like what device they’re on and what task they want to accomplish. You will want to do a user journey map for each of your primary personas.
Step 2: Map the Touchpoints
Compile a series of user goals and actions into a timeline of steps on a path that moves in a continuous direction. This represents the experience map. The steps for a typical buyer’s journey are Awareness, Research, Purchase and Use. Within each of those steps exist many touchpoints with your brand.
Step 3: Create a Narrative
Flesh out the timeline with user thoughts and emotions for each stage based on qualitative research. You will want to include actions, motivations and emotions that occur at each interaction or touchpoint, including the emotional highs and lows, paying attention to where they get stuck or frustrated.
Step 4: Create a Visualization From Your Narrative
Transform your text-based or Excel-based narrative into a visualization of the user journey map (often requiring more advanced design skills). This visual representation is an effective way to illustrate to the rest of the company your key insights into the user’s feelings, motivations and emotions.