Journey mapping is essential

jouneymap_finalA journey map is a visual representation of the experience the user has with a product or service. It tells a story from the user’s point of view from initial engagement and continues throughout their journey. In order to understand a user’s experience, you need to observe how the user interacts with the many different starting points within the product or service.

For example, this can be through marketing, referrals, search, social media and customer service to name a few. To ensure the experience is a positive one, you need to map out every touchpoint along their journey.

Why create a journey map?

Journey mapping helps you see the business from the user’s perspective. It provides insights into user pain points — how you can improve the experience, and define what users need in order to complete an experience. Users expect companies to be connected and seamless; while also knowing who they are and what they’re looking for. They don’t want to take extra steps to get to their goal. A journey map will help find the cracks in order to create a solution for a better user experience.

Some of the benefits of a journey map may include:

  • observe where users interact
  • determine whether the user journey is in a logical order
  • provide an outside perspective on the why
  • reveal the gaps between the desired experience and the experience received
  • help create priorities for product strategy
  • afford you the opportunity to view from the user’s needs rather than the business needs

Making it worthwhile

For a useful map, you need to include every touch point the user experiences within the product. For example, when a user is planning a vacation, you will need to begin from the moment they start thinking about possibilities right through to finally booking their vacation. Each touch point is an interaction with a product or service. By following along the journey, you will be able to see where users experience pain points.

Key elements to include:

  • Journey
  • User profile
  • Actions & Channels
  • Emotions
  • Actions
  • Opportunities
  • Ownership

As your relationship with the user develops, the map will include a view of the long-term, post purchase journey. Looking at the completed journeys of users can help highlight whether there is a clear path from research to end product or service. This shows the potential obstacles and opportunities to improve the journey.

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