Journey Mapping step by step: a deeper insight for beginners

Are you having difficulties finding customers or you want to know where your customers are coming from and how they’re using your product? This article will help you understand this things.

Personally, when I think about how a customer is finding and using a product I get excited because it’s fascinating for me to see how different, complex and sometimes unexpected can be a customer map. You have unanswered questions or problems about journey mapping?

Fortunately, to every question, there is at least one answer and to every problem, there is at least one solution. During Techsylvania I attended a great workshop named “Journey Mapping — It’s not just a pretty picture” hosted by Caroline Zenss, Principal Interaction Designer at Macadamian.

During the workshop, we found what journey mapping and personas actually are and why are they important. Besides this, we also find out which are the 6 steps to creating a journey map.

User Persona

It’s very important to start journey mapping from the point of view of personas or real people and you need to make personas based on real-world data, not based on assumptions, otherwise, you take small and big decisions on untested assumptions that may work against you.

Persona Creation is the process of designing archetypes of actual users, each representing a cluster of users who share similar goals, behaviors, motivators and values.

Personas describe people’s current goals and behaviors in a specific context of their lives. Understanding their context reveals opportunities. This phase (persona creation) is focused heavily on the actions the user is taking and it is not meant to capture everything the users or customers are doing.

They are, ideally, based on real-world data and when they are not created from research, we refer to them as “provisional personas”. Once you figure out the persona you can start creating the journey map.

Journey Mapping

Journey Mapping is an activity that is used to capture the story of a user/customer journey, from the perspective of the person having the experience. Even if journey mapping may seem complex at times there is no wrong or right way to do a journey map.

Journey mapping happens at the beginning of the product creation process and without it the product or the service is most likely not gonna sell because you run the risk of advertising blindly to people that are not interested at all in what you’re promoting.

Besides this you may not solve the problems that the users or customers are facing. So why would they bother checking/using or buying your product if it’s not useful for them?

What is being mapped?

When we think about an experience we usually think just about what someone does. But, in creating a journey map, while we capture what someone “does” we also need to capture what they are thinking and feeling, while they are doing.

This is because the way the customers or users see the product makes them feel in a way and that feeling or feelings results in behaviors like using the product more, recommending it to a friend or leaving a good review on social media, stop using it or leaving a bad review.

A journey map shows what a person “does” (activities and events) across time and place (context) with people and things (touch-points) and captures what they are thinking and feeling throughout their experience with a product .

The steps to creating a journey map:

1. Chunk it out

Think about the person’s journey across time and possibly place. There are specific hours or parts of the day/week/month at which the product is used?

There are time gaps where the product is not used at all? There are places in which the product is used the most? There are places in which the product is not used at all?

The information gathered here will be a huge help if you advertise online because you will know the places and the times were the product has the highest chances of being the most visible to a large amount of niched people.

2. Doing (activities and events)

What are the activities and events during each of the journey map phases (passive/inactive phase, decision phase or purchase and consumption phase)?

Are there events that signal the end of one phase and the beginning of another? Are there activities that span across phases? Are any of the activities, place or context, dependent?

3. Touchpoints

Who did the person interact with along the way to be able to use the product? What devices/apps or websites were used for this interaction? Some of the devices, apps or websites were used more than other?

4. Thinking

How do people frame their experience along the way? What are their expectations before using the product? What is their opinion after using the product?

Depending on the product, will they use it daily/weekly or monthly? If yes, what drives them to do that? If not, what improvements they need in order to use it more often?

5. Feeling

What emotions do people have along the way while find out about and when they are using your product? What are their high points and low points? What are the causes of this high and low points? The answers to the questions above can make you able to replicate the high points in more places of the customer journey map and minimize or delay the low points.

6. Opportunities

What insights can you extract from all the data gathered along the process of journey mapping? What recommendations can you make? There is future research that needs to be done in order to gain a clearer image of your customer or user journey?

Tell the story

How can you clearly communicate this journey to others? What factors drive the story to communicate the most insights to your audience?

It is a journey through the emotions of the person? If yes, what emotions the user/customer is feeling? How intense it is?

It is a journey through their actions through time? How can the product help the customer or the user on a daily/weekly or monthly basis? Does the product saves time? If yes, how much time and how exactly it saves it?

Is physical context the most important thing so you need to map the person’s decision points across their physical contexts? Where the product is most used by others?

Each of of the questions above are building blocks that you can use to tell the story of the person’s journey. With a clear understanding of the insights you want to communicate a clear visual hierarchy of information on the map so you will have a powerful tool to share with other possible users and business partners and perhaps will help you update the product later if necessary.

I am very grateful for this workshop hosted by Caroline Zenss. It showed me that journey mapping is not that hard after all and with a little work it’s quite easy to do, even for someone inexperienced. You can get in touch with Caroline here, with Macadamian team here and you can visit Techsylvania website here.

Thanks a lot for reading and share if you found it useful 🙂

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