User journey mapping is a widely used and impactful technique that can help you improve your product, marketing, UX, and merchandising decisions.
However, like other UX research techniques (including user personas), there’s some vagueness and obscurity around how to actually create user journey maps.
This article draws on processes and user journey mapping examples from experts in the field. You’ll walk away with a clear picture of how to do it on your own.
Customer journey mapping examples
Let’s start with the fun: it’s easy to get inspired by these companies’ successful user journey map examples. While some weren’t able to share the entire process due to privacy issues, they did share a specific section in the process.
Finland-based Leadfeeder is a top (Google) analytics tool that shows the companies that visit your website. The company’s mission is to bring web intelligence into business.
Their user journey maps the following path from Discovery to Sales, and Retention. They have identified their customer’s goals, touchpoints, assets, channels, success factors, and secondary KPIs.
For example, a customer’s goal in the Discovery phase is to identify a tool that tracks unknown website visitors. During the Free Trial, the customer finds out how Leadfeeder works. Once the customer buys the subscription, a key goal is to obtain value for their money (accurate access to data). If this is met, then the customer proceeds to the Retention phase, where they want to see a return on investment.
As a touchpoint, for example, the top of the funnel consists of 50% incoming traffic and 35% free-trial conversions from ads. The bottom of the funnel comes from Intercom, where all new users are offered a free training session (one right away, then sporadically).
Among top touchpoints in the journey are the explanatory video (which is 4x more likely to convert), and the content displayed (features, pricing, and use cases).
2. Dapper Apps
Dapper Apps is an Australian-based mobile app development company that specializes in the design and development of stunning and intuitive apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and the web.
Dapper’s user journey has five phases: Research, Comparison, Workshop, Quote, and Sign-Off.
Chloë Constantinides from Dapper explained their user journey mapping process:
“The user journey focuses on that of a typical startup or someone who comes up with an independent idea. Often, corporate and enterprise clients need another stage at the beginning, which I would call ‘Education.’ This is because often enterprise customers are yet to even understand the value of technology being implemented into their business.
Startups generally come prepared with an idea.
We find that no matter how much clients believe they have thought about their app idea, there are always gaps. We use a journey map to really understand what our customers are thinking and feeling throughout the process, what resources or information they may require, and what actions we need to take to ensure the process is as clear and positive as possible for both parties.”
My friends at NinjaOutreach run an all-purpose influencer marketing tool designed for bloggers, startups, small businesses, digital marketers, agencies, and large brands.
Their user journey map is quite complex and consists of several phases. Below, Viktor Popovski described one of the phases: Day 3, which translated into an emailmessage based on the following assumptions:
- People need time to explore and use a new application, so if they don’t appear to be engaged in the first day or two, it’s probably natural.
- At the same time, people can easily forget about an application and become quickly disengaged, so if by day 3, 4, or 5 you are not seeing sufficient activity, then it may be cause for concern.
- Often, applications might require something from the user to allow the user to really experience the full benefits. This might be something like:
- Importing a list;
- Integrating with another application;
- Filling out a profile.
Tasks like these can be tedious and uninspiring, so NinjaOutreach looked at this as an opportunity to complete them for the user. Here’s Viktor explaining further:
“The company needs to do this early enough in the cycle, so that afterward the user still has time to experience the full benefits of the software, while at the same time not making the invitation too early, otherwise it will exhaust the company’s resources and interrupt the natural user engagement flow such that they do not make the personal commitment in the application necessary to be successful with it.
As a result, the ‘Day 3: Are You Having Problems’ email is intended to focus on the subset of users in NinjaOutreach who have not yet experienced the full benefit of the app (have not created a list of prospects) and are perhaps on the verge of becoming completely disengaged.
The service we offer is to create a list of prospects for them, and users often jump at this offer. We collect the necessary data (i.e. who they are targeting) and promise to fill their list with around 50 prospects in 24–48 hours.
After going through the process, ourselves, we can describe to the user the different search techniques that we used to build the list, to empower them with the knowledge they will need to do it themselves.”
William Gadea, Creative Director and Founder at IdeaRocket, a provider of animated videos for businesses, says that “most of our lead generation comes from search engine marketing, and we feel that the search term can be a clue for where in the journey the searcher is.”
“This insight can let us focus the call to action on each of our blog posts to what is appropriate for the visitor’s circumstances,” he says.
Judd Mercer, Creative Director at Elevated Third, wrote about how to use journey maps in the real estate industry to develop your business.
For the user journey map, they outline six distinct phases: Design, Financing, Construction, Leasing, Model, and Completion.
The entire map is a bit more granular, but at a high level, they’ve modeled the process a customer goes through during the relationship. Read their article for more detail.
“Our customers have specific needs, and we have structured our website with targeted, problem-solving solutions,” says Robert Mening, the founder of WebsiteSetup.
For example, if someone wants to know the answer to a question such as “Is it hard to create my own website?”, they could end up on one of our resource pages that talks about how to setup a website or a WordPress blog.
Mening also shared some stats regarding social media and the user journey map. Social is the main acquisition channel for the site, so the inflection points of the user journey often occur there.
They focus on post-click engagement metrics like pages/visit and bounce rate, which are good proxies for the success of specific channels. Their journey map also includes inquiries and search terms (as mentioned above) to assess the problem/solution fit):
How to create a user journey map
Let’s continue with a primer on building user journey maps:
First: Outline your personas, timeline, and channels
Construct “the outline” of your customer persona. This requires an understanding of marketing psychology and relies on qualitative survey data and quantitative research.
Kofi Senaya, Director of Product at Clearbridge Mobile, a Canadian-based mobile app development agency, argues that “mapping out the user journey is an effective way to understand what turns a viewer into a long-term, loyal customer.” Based on his experience, this process should focus on two things:
- Motivations. “Like actions, companies need to understand what motivates a customer to keep progressing in their experience. What emotions is the customer feeling?”
- Moments of Truth. “Emotions are powerful determinants of how the customer perceives the brand, meaning they will either want to continue engaging with you or they will abandon you.”
Three other aspects to keep in mind are the aforementioned user personas, timeline, and channels.
User personas provide a starting point for user journey maps. Businesses should focus on mapping the story ending—the end goal of that user.
Companies should ascertain a time-period that they want to map out. Companies can measure their success by setting goals in terms of phases such as awareness, decision-making, purchase, renewal.
What channel(s) have you chosen to analyze your customer experience on? Determine and prioritize it, because this is where all the customer interaction occurs – mobile app, website, or in-store. List the user(s) on the left and their story-ending (end goal) on the right and all the actions in between.Kofi Senaya
Define user journey stages
In an article on customer journey maps, Jennifer Havice does an excellent job explaining what a customer journey map is and how it works. It was her piece that made me dive deeper into this topic.
Essentially, a user journey map is a model. It’s an illustration or a diagram of all the touchpoints through which customers come into contact with your company (online or off).
As with any model, journey maps are simplified. Like user personas, funnels, or any other marketing heuristics, they aren’t 100% true to reality. Rather, models reflect reality with a certain degree of accuracy. They help us make customer-focused product, design, UX, and marketing decisions.
As such, notwo journey maps are exactly the same. Depending on the expert you’re following and the product you’re mapping, the design will be different.
Sometimes, the design is quite intricate and detailed:
Sometimes, user journey maps are far simpler:
The important thing is that you can use and share the document in your organization to influence business decisions and make your company more customer-focused.
What experts have to say on user journey mapping
The first authors to write about user journey maps were Chip Bell and Ron Zemke in their 1989 book, Service Wisdom. They referred to the concept as the “cycle of service mapping.”
I had the pleasure of speaking to Bell about user journeys and innovative service metrics. He offered an example of a journey map for “Telephone Repairs,” which came from the book he co-authored, Service Magic: The Art of Amazing Your Customers.
Granted, this example is two decades old; some things differ. But it’s important to see what’s “evergreen” when building a user journey map.
As the authors wrote then, “a cycle of service is about what the customer experiences, and examines all Place, Process or Performance issues from their perspective along their journey.”
Here’s an example of their model:
Here are some additional insights from our conversation:
What do you recommend in terms of consistent “evergreen” KPIs that are a must throughout the evolution of a company product/service?
Dr. Chip Bell:
“The goal of customer journey mapping is to create and retain a deep understanding of the customer’s experiences while he or she is traversing the path taken between having a need and getting that need met.
Its intent is to ‘get inside the customer’s head’ to ‘see,’ and therefore, understand the customer’s experiences. Armed with that perspective, organizations are better able to craft or recraft processes and encounters to become more customer-centric. It is essentially an evergreen effort since the needs and expectations of customers are constantly changing.
Metrics should be anchored in part to customer outcomes, not granular processes and practices. It enables having a ‘line of sight’ to the overall customer evaluation.
For example, if I am a call center operator and one feature of the customer’s journey includes the pace of an interaction in a call, one of my KPI’s could be my call handle time. However, without having some accountability for the customer’s overall experience, I could rush that customer call thus shortening handle time but failing to resolve the customer’s need or issue.
The customer would label the call with me as very fast and totally ineffective. But I could get high marks for having short handle times.
Be careful of and missing the point: the end goal is not a fast call, it is a loyal customer.”
In your experience, what are the biggest mistake(s) companies make when they map their “ideal” customers?
Dr. Chip Bell:
“One is believing there is an ‘ideal customer.’ It is like building your marriage expectations around a profile of the ‘ideal husband or wife.’
Another mistake is thinking journey mapping is static as opposed to ever-changing. It is like believing an annual customer satisfaction survey is the best way to understand customers. And, it is why diverse customer intelligence methods are vital and need to be perpetual.
The biggest mistake is the failure to actively involve the customer in verifying a journey map. Too many organizations think they know what their customers’ experience is. It is as challenging as a parent thinking they know what their teenager is going through because ‘I was once a teenager.’
As the owner of the processes and practices our customers negotiate, we know way too much. We understand what is behind encounters that customers experience naively. But we are blind to many details customers see and experience.”
A guest can see more in a day than a host can see in a year.
Therefore, it is imperative the customer takes an “empathy walk” with the service provider to verify “we accurately captured” what the customer experiences.”
Please recommend further reading to help companies stuck in “the old ways.“
Dr. Chip Bell:
“There are many books you can read on how to drive a car, but I would recommend a wannabe driver get behind the wheel.
This is my way of saying get senior leaders in front of customers, walking in their shoes, serving them directly, talking to customers directly about their experiences. It will arm them with more design thinking than the most cutting edge white paper.”
User journey mapping is a complex process. As you can see from the examples and interviews above, there is no one-size-fits-all model. Instead, journey maps, like user personas, should be backed by data and user research. Ultimately, they need to be actionable for your specific purpose.
In addition, just like personas, user journey maps shouldn’t be static; rather, you should continually update and improve your models.
There are many ways to research and build journey maps, and there are many more ways to create the end product (the map itself). Hopefully, these journey mapping examples inspired you to create your own.
How do you make a journey map in UX? ›
- Define the scope. Creating a helpful user journey map starts with defining your goals. ...
- Build user personas. ...
- Define user goals, expectations, and pain points. ...
- List out touchpoints and channels. ...
- Map the journey. ...
- Validate and refine the map.
Definition: A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. In its most basic form, journey mapping starts by compiling a series of user actions into a timeline. Next, the timeline is fleshed out with user thoughts and emotions in order to create a narrative.How are use mapping and journey exercises used in UX? ›
The process of mapping their journey encourages and reminds you to consider the entire customer experience: their feelings, questions and needs while they interact with your site. It's used for understanding and addressing customer needs and pain points.What are the 5 as used for building a customer journey map? ›
Components of a Customer Journey Map
They typically include an outline of the purchasing process, actions users take, emotions they experience along the way, pain points they face, and potential solutions available to them.
CEB has found that conventional journey maps usually cover four main buyer steps: awareness, consideration, preference, and purchase. CEB calls this the “customer purchase-from-us journey” because it is grounded in a biased view that the buyer will purchase from the company.How does journey mapping help? ›
By charting the entire customer experience, journey mapping helps businesses pinpoint where gaps in service exist so that customer experience efforts and resources can be deployed and allocated to provide optimal value.What's the purpose of a user journey? ›
Customer journey mapping (also called user journey mapping) is the process of creating a customer journey map, a visual story of your customers' interactions with your brand. This exercise helps businesses step into their customer's shoes and see their business from the customer's perspective.What should a customer journey map include? ›
- Set clear objectives for the map.
- Profile your personas and define their goals.
- Highlight your target customer personas.
- List out all the touchpoints.
- Identify the elements you want your map to show.
- Determine the resources you have and the ones you'll need.
The journey map is a synthetic representation that describes step-by-step how a user interacts with a service. The process is mapped from the user perspective, describing what happens at each stage of the interaction, what touchpoints are involved, what obstacles and barriers they may encounter.What are 5A of consumer digital journey? ›
Today we are going to look at mapping this path throughout the 5A's – appeal, aware, ask, act & advocate. The stages in the five A's are not always straightforward and are sometimes even spiral, similar to the way women buy. With attention deficit, consumers might skip a certain phase along the consumer path.
What are the five stages of the customer journey or the overall user experience? ›
There are Distinct phases in which your potential customer passes through and should be guided accordingly in order to be introduced to and “buy into” your product. The five phases are Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.What makes a good customer journey? ›
In short, good customer experience can be achieved if you: Make listening to customers a top priority across the business. Use customer feedback to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers. Implement a system to help you collect feedback, analyze it, and act on it regularly.What are the types of customer journey? ›
Here are the four different possibilities:
Customer journey simplification. Customer journey mapping. Customer journey innovation. Story-centered customer journey.
How can I improve my customers journey? There is a wealth of modern ways to improve your customer's journey, using social media, an omnichannel approach, free services, staying one step ahead of the competition, obtaining brand ambassadors, personalized service are among the many options available to modern businesses.What is the most important part of the customer journey? ›
The most important part of creating a great customer experience is understanding the entire journey a customer takes. You need to think about your customer journey map (or if you don't have one, create one). This will help you understand every touch point that you have with your customers.What is a benefit of journey mapping when creating a more effective client solution? ›
A well-researched customer journey map helps you visualize what customers are thinking, feeling, and doing: the key to understanding their deepest needs and providing a better service. Gathering insights on customer emotions—and acting on them—helps customers feel you 'get' them and builds brand trust.When should I use user journey? ›
User journeys work best when the product team wants to understand the entire experience from the user's standpoint. It usually happens during design review sessions – when the team released a product on the market, collected feedback, and now wants to prioritize requests for new features or improvements.What is the difference between user experience and user journey? ›
Both CX and UX are built through interactions with your brand. However, whereas the user journey stands for the whole picture, customer experience speaks to perception. A brand has the capacity to improve both CX as well as UX. Incremental changes to various functions can improve customer experience.What comes first user journey or user flow? ›
The short answer is neither. Just like it's hard to know if UI or UX comes first, it's hard to tell if the user flow should come before the user journey. But here's a better way to look at it. The user interface (UI) is mapped using user flows.How do you define customer journey? ›
A customer journey refers to the path of interactions an individual has with your brand, produc and/or services. It describes both direct interactions such as contacting a customer service team, to indirect interactions such as hearing about a brand at an event.
What are journey analytics? ›
Journey Analytics is the solution that helps you understand and transform your journeys, at scale. Our offerings use analytics and design thinking to deliver up to twice the impact than traditional survey-based continuous improvement programs across satisfaction, financial, commercial and strategic metrics.What is the difference between user story and user journey? ›
Summary: How does a user story map differ from a customer journey map? A journey map is from the perspective of the person's experience, whereas a story map is from the perspective of the product and what it takes to deliver the user experience.What is the difference between user journey and user flow? ›
The key difference between a user flow and a user journey is that a user journey gives a macro view of a customer experience, while a user flow gives a more zoomed-in view of the actions of a user. The key similarity between these two tools is that they're user-centered.What makes a good customer journey? ›
In short, good customer experience can be achieved if you: Make listening to customers a top priority across the business. Use customer feedback to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers. Implement a system to help you collect feedback, analyze it, and act on it regularly.What are the benefits of customer journey mapping? ›
- Identifying gaps in service or communications. Customer journey maps also reveal where gaps may exist in customer service. ...
- Reduced costs. Brands that use customer journey maps also reduce costs. ...
- Increased sales. ...
- Greater customer and employee satisfaction.
Designing your experience map
- Keep it simple: any viewer should be able to make sense out of the map at one glance. ...
- Keep it self-contained: The experience map should stand on its own.
Experience map depicts the complete picture of the customer experience with the brand at multiple channels, while CJM focuses on the experience the customer gets when interacting with one specific product/service. Specific customer type vs overall customer experience.What is a UX blueprint? ›
A UX blueprint is the foundation to your next digital project and it includes design mockups. It's a plan to get you started, a strategy to improve your project, and a guide to lead your team to success. You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint—and we treat our software and web projects the same way!What is example mapping? ›
Example mapping is a technique for fleshing out and gaining clarity around the acceptance criteria for a given story. It is based on the idea that multiple examples of specific cases convey information better than a single bad abstraction of a concept.What is a user story example? ›
For example, user stories might look like: As Max, I want to invite my friends, so we can enjoy this service together. As Sascha, I want to organize my work, so I can feel more in control. As a manager, I want to be able to understand my colleagues progress, so I can better report our sucess and failures.
What is a user journey story? ›
User journey story: Is a technique for describing how the user interacts with our business (and business systems) over time to realise an end goal. User story: Is a technique to describe specific functions the user must perform at each stage of a journey.How can user journey be improved? ›
How can I improve my customers journey? There is a wealth of modern ways to improve your customer's journey, using social media, an omnichannel approach, free services, staying one step ahead of the competition, obtaining brand ambassadors, personalized service are among the many options available to modern businesses.Which is most important to UX designer? ›
The answer is USERS. You need to research your users.When should I use user journey? ›
User journeys work best when the product team wants to understand the entire experience from the user's standpoint. It usually happens during design review sessions – when the team released a product on the market, collected feedback, and now wants to prioritize requests for new features or improvements.