User Journey Mapping in Practice. Part 3: How to Map the Journey? - photo
Order Group

User Journey Mapping in Practice. Part 3: How to Map the Journey?

So you covered a lot of topics during the briefing stage with the client, and interviews with the users. Now it's time to organize all this gathered data and make it useful during the workshops.

What do you need to define in order to build a proper User Journey Map?

By definition a journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. So you need to have three things in place:

The User (Actor) - photo for mobile

The User (Actor)

Or rather a User Persona that we selected with our client as the one that is the most significant businesswise.
The Goals - photo for mobile

The Goals

User goals that were highlighted during the interviews, or business goals that were mentioned during the Briefing.
A Scenario (Journey) - photo for mobile

A Scenario (Journey)

A structured description of the User actions that are taken in order to achieve a certain goal. This is something that we cover below :)

Setting the Journey

If you did a proper briefing with the Client and performed interviews with the Users you should know exactly who is the Actor and what are the Goals that he\she wants to achieve by interacting with a product or a service.

Also, at this point, you should know a few Scenarios (actions that the Actor needs to take in order to achieve certain goals). Now it's time to choose one Scenario. Usually, we pick a scenario that is the most valuable for the Client in terms of his business goals. After that, we need to figure out how to transform it into separate Steps in order to map out the process.

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First, we start with an ideal path - how the User would like to do it. Then we take our Client's perspective and check where it fits the User's idea and where it contradicts it. Of course, as mentioned, sometimes it's a big challenge.

We investigate the Actor's (User Personas's) script from the first interaction to the achieving of the goal. You can also extend this and try to figure out where the Users' need for achieving a Goal is born - which is called an Entry Point. This will give you some great insights into how the User will look for your product and therefore how and where the product should be advertised.

Let's see some Scenarios

Let me show you two examples of scenarios, tha a UJM done in Order Group for two of our Clients.

The first one is a UJM session for a fin-tech project. The key Actor is Pete, the Personal Assistant. At first approach, the Actor was to be a finance expert (CFO of a company), but during the interviews with the Users, it turned out that the tool was going to be used by the Personal Assistant of the CFO rather than a financial expert. We already had a designed prototype of an app dedicated to the CFO, but we needed to rearrange it. We had to turn the idea for the interface upside down and present the difficult and advanced financial data in an accessible way.

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We built the scenario in a way that allowed the product to work in a loop. The loop model that we used in the example above has been described in "Hooked" by Nir Eyal. This canvas states that the UX loop should be fast enough and impressive enough for the user to get a reward much higher than the effort he or she needs to invest in setting up the tool.

The second case study is a project for an online office furniture manufacturer. The client has some very well defined User Personas. One of them was Startup Joe and the scenario was describing how this type of User Persona is usually buying furniture.

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The Scenario from user perspective was:

I need to change the office because my startup was just funded → I'm looking for inspirations on Pinterest (an insight we had from real data) → I find the design of my dreams. → I'm redirected to the product (thanks to loads of content marketing with links distributed on Pinterest by our Client) → I choose, configure, customize products → I place an order with a quick and customizable form (a part that was missing). → I get an offer from the sales team → A Concierge takes care of my case (Customer service and upselling)

The Scenario was pretty long but our part of the flow (which are the things that are going on in the web platform) was very short and had just three steps, that are deeply rooted in the product. As you can see, the context is crucial.

Layers of the Mapping

In User Journey Mapping we are observing the Actor from different perspectives. We follow the Scenario and transform it into a chart (or a Map) which should be built from these layers:

Stages / Steps - photo for mobile

Stages / Steps

Every single action (that we can point out) that the Actor is doing in order to fulfill the Goal, by interacting with a product.
"Actors Quote" - photo for mobile

"Actors Quote"

To make it more relatable and rooted in the context it's good to add a short sentence that the Actor would say on a certain Step.
Motivations - photo for mobile


What are the thoughts and emotions of the Actor at a certain Step? What makes him perform that way?
Points of Contact - photo for mobile

Points of Contact

Where (in the User Interface) and how (by doing what exactly) does the Actor interact with the product?
Challenges & Problems - photo for mobile

Challenges & Problems

What does the Actor need to achieve at each Step? What can go wrong? What is the probability of failure?
Possible solutions - photo for mobile

Possible solutions

How we could avoid, solve or minimize the potential problem that can prevent the Actor from achieving a Goal in each Step?
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Useful Tips:

The interaction description should include:description of the actors' activities (eg. inputting email and phone number) a precise place in the user interface where the actor is performing a certain action (eg. registration view in the mobile application) and the interaction effect (eg. link to the main screen of the app)

The problems section should include: description of the problem - the user has uploaded an invalid file format, type/source of the problem - user error, ignorance, potential solution - download a file template as a blueprint, probability of occurence - very high, how serious is the problem - critical or not?

It's essential to understand both the emotions and motivations of the Actor. We are interested in real situations and contexts that accompany the user in a given scenario.

Based on the emotion chart, we conclude where the climax of the journey is, where there is a stage where the user can abandon the product or become addicted to it.

An experienced facilitator should help the participants to distinguish the most important things to focus on while doing the workshops.

The main challenge for every User Journey Mapping workshop is finding a middle ground between the User needs and the Business Goals of the Client.

Workshops are the best way to prepare a proper foundation for making UX design and documentation.

Would you like to set the User Journey Mapping workshops for your product?