What it is
A visualization of the major interactions shaping a user’s experience of a product or service.
Reasons to use it
To provide design teams with a bird’s-eye view of a service that helps them see the sequence of interactions that make up a user’s experience including the complexity, successes, pain points, and emotions users experience along the way.
Medium: 4–12 hours
How to do it
Document the elements of the project’s design context. This includes:
- People involved and their related goals
- Their behaviors in pursuit of their goals
- Information, devices, and services that support their behaviors
- Important moments in how they experience a service or major decisions they make
- The emotions associated with these moments or decisions
Visualize the order in which people exhibit behaviors, use information, make decisions, and feel emotions. Group elements into a table of “phases” related to the personal narrative of each persona. Identify where personas share contextual components.
Discuss the map with stakeholders. Point out insights it offers. Use these insights to establish design principles. Think about how to collapse or accelerate a customer’s journey through the various phases. Incorporate this information into the project’s scope.
You can also map user journeys as part of a workshop with stakeholders, similar to a design studio.
Applied in government research
No PRA implications. The PRA explicitly exempts direct observation and non-standardized conversation, 5 CFR 1320.3(h)3. See the methods for Recruiting and Privacy for more tips on taking input from the public.
- Adaptive Path’s Guide to Experience Mapping. Adaptive Path (PDF).
- An explanation of journey mapping on Wicked Problems Worth Solving. Austin Center for Design.
- “Designing Digital Strategies, Part 1: Cartography.” UX Booth.