What is User Journey?
User Journey (User Journey Mapping), refers to the map of scenarios in which the user interacts with end to end system (both product and services). Normally the scenarios consist of between 4 and 12 steps. User journeys uncover the key user paint points, different touch points, emotions and highs and lows of experiences while users are engaged with products/services.
User journey, helps in scoping out a project and helps us take a customer focused design approach. They are true reflection of the user research and not just the assumed hypothesis.
User Journey maps are created to focus on various aspects of a solution, not only the digital vacuum but also the experience ecosystem. User journeys are key in sculpting the product as it helps the team decide on the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and scope for their specific solutions.
The activity of mapping user journeys is driven by the following scenarios:
1. Current/Existing product
2. Improvise a part of your existing product
3. Redesigning an existing product
4. Build a product from scratch
The activity of user mapping builds knowledge and consensus across teams and stakeholders, and the map as artifact allows you to create and support better customer experiences. The three main steps to consider in a user journey:
1. Uncover the Truth — Study customer behavior and their interactions across different channels, through different touchpoints within distinct phases of the journey. Empathize and understand the users pain points, by understanding their goals, motives and issues
2. Plot the Journey — Collaborately synthesize insights and findings into a journey model dividing it into distinct phases.
3. Uncover Patterns — Since the user journey maps, with richness and depth, represent key insights into your user’s complete experience, it uncovers user intent, emotions, motivations and pain points. Various parts of the user journey help us narrow the problem statement and convert the same into opportunities designers and team can propose solutions for.
A complex user journey may require further analysis with multiple journey maps based on the specific user persona.
Following example is a holistic view of a in store retail experience, it’s a detailed user journey with distinct phases that can serve as a starting point for understanding the user’s interaction across different channels and touch point that can help us narrow the problem and improvise the experience throughout.