One of the things app designers are most concerned about and pay great attention to is creating a smooth journey for the target users. If the journey isn’t pleasant and makes them feel lost at any point, it isn’t a sign of a good user experience. This is the reason why user journey maps are designed. It helps designers understand how people actually use their product.
A user journey map also referred to as a customer journey map, is a visual representation of a user’s relationships with a brand or product over time and across multiple channels. It illustrates the user flow throughout your website or application as to how the user goes from point A to point B and the different touchpoints or interactions he or she has during that journey.
A user journey map is often represented as a timeline of all the touch points between the user and a product. This timeline encompasses information regarding the different channels that the users use to interact with a product. Creating a user journey map helps designers understand how a user interacts with a product and allows them to see the product from a user’s point of view. It allows them to understand customers’ motivation and feelings at each step during their journey. This helps create a better product design and ultimately leads to a better user experience.
A user or customer journey is a crucial aspect of UX design and optimization. It is a good way to know users’ needs and address the pain points during their journey as to what their thoughts are while they interact with your website or app and what they are looking to achieve. It’s important to understand the customers’ feelings, needs, or motivations as it will allow you to build a website that guides them in the right correction of achieving their goals.
You may wonder why there’s any need to create customer journey maps. The brand is offering its product and services, and the customers are buying them. It may seem very straightforward from the user’s perspective, but is a bit complex from a brand’s point of view.
As we mentioned, the customer journey is defined by the touchpoints customers have when they first get introduced to a product till they perform the intended action, for example making a purchase. During this journey, the customer might encounter ads, have a conversation with a customer service representative, or might try to checkout. From getting to know about the brand through social media to receiving a successful transaction email, these are a few steps in their journey that affect their actions. Understanding these touchpoints or customer interactions lets brands and businesses create better strategies to drive customers towards a conversion or sale.
Also Read: A comprehensive guide to User Story Mapping
Creating a user journey map is about focusing on these six important steps-
Who are your target customers?
A user journey map always focuses on the experience of the ideal end-user or a user persona. A user persona represents your ideal customer and includes their details like age, gender, location, the device they are using, occupation, and more. It is important to create a user journey map for each of your personas.
Touchpoints can be referred to as the multiple interaction points between the user and your website/application. List all the touchpoints your potential and current customers are using to interact with your brand. It’s essential to identify all key touchpoints and all channels associated with each touchpoint. This gives you crucial insights into what actions the users are performing to achieve a goal.
Generally, there are four steps in a typical buyer journey- Awareness, Research, Purchase, and Use. There may exist multiple touchpoints within these four steps.
While creating your user journey map, it’s vital to understand the intentions of your target users. What makes them interact with your product? What issues or inconveniences do users look to address when they think of using your product? The reasons can be different for different user personas.
For instance, in an eCommerce website, someone who is just looking around and someone who wants to achieve a specific outcome like placing an order, there is a massive difference in both scenarios.
For each user journey, consider four things primarily-
1. user’s motivation to understand what they want to achieve,
2. the different channels where the interactions are happening
3. user’s actions as to what steps they are taking to do a specific thing, and lastly
4. the pain points of the users to analyze the different challenges they are facing.
Make sure that the users get a consistent experience across channels.
To create a successful user journey map, designers need to consider the users’ emotional state at every point in their journey to better understand what users feel while interacting with the product. By doing so, they will be able to bring that personal touch and connect with users on a human level.
User journey maps shouldn’t be just based on assumptions but rather truthful narratives. Even if it is based on user research, it’s essential to validate it. Obtain insights from usability testing sessions and app analytics to ensure that your journey mimics a real use case.
Also, collect and analyze information about your users regularly. Gather their feedback. This will help you create better user journey maps.
Keep in mind that the objective of creating a user journey map is to create a shared vision. So, once a user journey map is created, remember to share it with your peers. Make sure that everyone in your team looks at the entire experience from the user’s perspective and uses that information while designing the product.
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