TL;DR A journey map is a tool that we can use inside of our businesses to deeply look at our services and our experiences. We can even use it when thinking about our products from the point of view of our key users.
When we think about a journey map, what we're really building is a model. When we build this model, we have to ask ourselves: are we building a model of what is today, or are we building a model of what we're envisioning in the future? If we're earlier in our project, we may want to consider building a model of what currently exists. Be really honest with yourself about how people are moving through your service or product experience. After we've had the opportunity to do some design, we may come back and build another journey map that represents the ideal path that we would like people to have. Its important to remember that a journey map should be looking at the journey through the user's point of view, not how we think the journey should be. Remember, you are not your user!
Multiple journey maps
If you have multiple, different customer types you will want to create a Journey map for each of those given populations. We want to consider each customer type because maybe their journeys are different. Sometimes, knowing where a customer’s journey is different can help us to understand one of two things better:
When do we use a journey map?
Thinking and Feeling
In terms of strategic design, when we think in terms of feeling, thinking, and doing, we want to make sure that we're accounting for things that are potentially hidden for our users. Think about the things that aren't as obvious. Consider what your user is actually doing when they're engaging with your service or experience. We can probably guess what people are doing at different points along the journey, but thinking and feeling requires you to have empathy and an understanding of your users' journey.
How to build a journey map
To begin building your journey map, set a scenario that the user will go through. You'll want to consider the user's path to your product, idea, or service and how they engage with it. Your journey map for a given user base will revolve around this scenario
Remember that your journey map is specific to each user set. You may need multiple journey maps for your product, idea, or service. Use this exercise and template to take a deep look inside your business or project and consider your product, idea, or service from a different perspective. Always go back to the target user in order to account for different entry points on your journey. Most importantly, have fun with this template!
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