User Journey Map

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What are User Journey Maps?

A User Journey Map charts out an archetypal journey of a user's interaction with a product, service or system (PSS), over time and across channels, fleshing out the user's emotions.

Why User Journey Maps?

They help teams visualize and story-tell users' journeys for deeper empathy, enabling more integrated sense-making of needs and identification of specific opportunity areas for innovation.

They also create a shared reference frame around the user experience across stakeholders.

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Process Phase




1 hour



Pens, Markers, Paper



Touchpoint: user actions and interactions with the organization. This is the WHAT the customer is doing;

Channel: medium of  interaction, the context of use (e.g. website, native app, call center, in-store). This is the WHERE they are interacting.

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Method Card Reference

DI Method Cards_Compiled Deck_Version 2.
DI Method Cards_Compiled Deck_Version 2.




  • Relevant research

    • Organize user experience insights​



  • Persona and Scenario

    • Clarify user goals and scope of journey



  • Touchpoints and Channels

    • List them out in a chronological order​


Sketch existing

  • User journey

    • Rate emotional level of Persona at each touchpoint 

    • Be especially mindful of the emotional experience of the Persona



  • Insights and Opportunities

    • Ideate with lenses to generate concepts


Sketch future

  • User journeys

Best Practices


Journey maps should result in truthful narratives, not fairy tales. Base it on actual user research rather than assumptions about the user.

Base it on truth


The activity of journey mapping (not the output itself) is often the most valuable part of the process, so involve others. Invite stakeholders from various groups to be a part of compiling the data and building the map.

Collaborate with others


The temptation to create an aesthetic graphic or jump to design can lead to beautiful yet flawed journey maps. Make sure the synthesis of your data is complete and well-understood before moving to creating the visual.

Don't jump to visualization


Don’t expect to get “buy-in” and foster interest in your journey map by simply sending a lovely graphic as an email attachment. Make it a living interactive document that people can be a part of. Bring up your story in meetings and conversations to promote a narrative that others believe in and begin to reference. One idea is to create a journey-mapping showroom where anyone not on the direct team can come experience the process and resulting artifacts.

Engage others with the end product



Demo Video

This video gives you a walk-through on how to create and use a User Journey Map, through a worked example of a Autonomous Vehicle Design Challenge.



Here are examples of User Journey Maps used for a variety of contexts and done to a varying level of complexity.


Additional Resources

  1. Smaply: An web-based tool that can be used to create journey maps

  2. ExperienceFellow: A mobile ethnography software tool that can be used to create journey maps