User journey mapping

A journey map is a visualisation of the route users take as they engage with a company, product, service or brand.

Journey maps identify the touch-points, channels, activities, emotions, and the risks and opportunities along a time-based journey from the consumer and business perspective.

User journeys are representations of existing or desired journeys, usually of an organisation’s personas. They can illustrate typical experiences of users or target experiences that the stakeholders and themselves wish they could have.  

Mapping a user experience journey is a project that we undertake in a similar way to our persona creation. A user journey is specifically focused on the experience that user has online with an organisation or brand. It covers the user behaviours, touch-points (e.g. desktop), motivations, pain points and emotions that a user can experience during their journey at every step of the way.

Customer user journey mapping outlines how the product should or could work better for the user, by demonstrating how they currently use it. Mapping the user’s existing experience can uncover opportunities for saving the user time and effort, therefore improving their experience and encouraging their return engagement.  

Our user journey mapping process

Step 1: Definition

At this initial stage we work with the client to define the goals of the exercise. As an example, these could include better understanding of the customer, reducing churn or improving customer experience. We then select the audience for the exercise, ideally from a set of existing user personas. The number and types of user journeys we create are dependent on the client and their personas or target audience.

If our client needs help defining the key groups in their audience, we do this in a number of ways: website surveys, user journey workshops, interviews with key stakeholders with experience or understanding of existing users and customers, or the users themselves, or social listening to form an understanding of who’s talking about it and what they are saying in terms of their journey, in addition to the more frequent review of existing information and data.

Other steps in the definition are to review any existing user journeys or documentation and host a kick off call with the client to establish what they already know about the journeys and the objectives for their use. After reviewing the documentation, we supply a report detailing the recommendations for the revised journeys which includes a wireframe of the intended structure. 

  • Define the objectives and journeys to modify 
  • Gather and review data on the user experience
  • Define the journey structure

Step 2: Solution

Research techniques to discover the full, detailed user journeys are defined by the project requirements. These activities can either be qualitative or quantitative and examples include user observations, customer interviews, focus groups, surveys, website data analysis or social listening data analysis.

We report on this research, collecting findings into themes and recommendations that inform the next stages.

In order to better understand and recruit the right users for researching their journeys, we recommend creating a survey that acts as a screening tool while simultaneously recruiting a user directly from their experience on the website. We create questions that are based on what we know about the user types, teasing out more and expecting new information. This survey can both validate the persona details and uncover any additional ones. 

The interview script should be focused on the user experience that they have, including any examples that they can remember. Working through the process and outlining their motivations or challenges at every step, the interviews aim to uncover and detail as much of the journey as possible, outlining unusual experiences and identifying the most common routes. 

Once all interviews have been completed, the findings are reported to the client with recommendations for the information that is added to the journey structure. The unusual examples are also communicated to the client so that they understand the possible varieties in journeys for their users.

  • Recruit users with a survey 
  • Interview users 
  • Report on the findings 
  • Make recommendations for the journeys  

Step 3: Implementation

Here we map the top-level interactions, behaviours and motivations to the different stages of the consumer journey. The traditional stages of the journey include: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy. This basic structure is then used to define the rest of the journey.

This is where the user journey is created. Using the wireframe suggested in the definition stage, the details and information found in the interviews and from the stakeholder understanding of the users is visualised in the form of a poster. This can be printed or shared as a PDF for easy reference.

The final structure of the journey is created and typically includes the areas outlined in the definition stage, though this can be flexible according to client expectations. 

Depending on client preference, we present the final draft of the personas to the client on a video call so that a member of MiC can provide the rationale behind the specifics in each step, as well as providing an opportunity for the client to pose any questions they may have. 

Iterations of the journeys may need to be accommodated according to feedback received on the call or any discussions / comments posed after the presentation has taken place. The journey map design will reflect the client’s brand.

  • Finalise journey structure
  • Create journey documentation
  • Present the journeys to the client 


Step 4: Optimisation 

In order to assess the relevance of the journeys and to keep them up to date, we recommend interviewing a handful of users from each persona type on a yearly basis – validating or contradicting the existing details. 

  • Test the journey details


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