It is important for all digital product designers to understand how people actually use their products, in order to effectively evolve and make improvements to it. User journey mapping is an excellent way to empathize with the users and understand their perspective. This journey map basically is a visualization of the relationship of an individual with a brand/product over a period of time, and across multiple channels.
Here are some of the steps design professionals must follow in order to create user journey maps:
- Choose a scope: The very step of creating a journey map would be to choose a scope. This scope can vary from a high-level map that reflects end-to-end experience to a more detailed journey map that majorly stresses on a specific interaction.
- Create a user persona: The user journey map largely deals with the experiences of one key person, which essentially implies the user persona that experiences the whole product journey. The user persona must be created on the basis of the information that people have about their target audience. Hence, UX UI designers should always start off their designing process with user research. Having constructive and accurate information about the users would minimalize any chances of making false assumptions. Information about the users can be gathered by interviewing real or potential users, conducting a contextual inquiry, as well as analyzing the results of user surveys
- Define user expectations and scenario: This scenario underlines the situation to be addressed by the journey map and can either be anticipated or real. It is also crucial to define the expectations the user persona has about the interaction.
- Create a list of touch-points: The touch-points basically involve user actions, as well as interactions with the relevant product/business. It is crucial to identify all the important channels and touch-points associated with each of the touch-point.
- Take user intention into account: The UX UI designers must deliberate upon the elements that motivate the users to interact with the product. There is a difference between a user who is just looking around a website, and a one who desires to accomplish a specific task. The designers must be able to get a rough idea about the problems the users are looking to solve as they visit the relevant website or open a particular application.
- Sketch the journey: The next step for the designers would be to put together all the information they have collected and subsequently sketch a journey in the format of step-by-step interaction. Each of the steps tends to demonstrate an experience that the user persona has with the relevant digital product.
- Consider the emotional state of the user during each step of interaction: The product design team must analyze what the user feels while interacting with the relevant product. A digital product designed by a professional team must mirror the state of mind of its discerning users. As they consider the emotional state of the user, this knowledge would assist them to orderly connect with the users on an intrinsic human level. Hence, it is imperative to add an emotional lane to the journey map of the user.
- Validate and refine user journey: The ultimate results of journey maps must include truthful narratives and not fairy tales. It is important to use the information acquired from the usability testing sessions, as well as insights found through the app analytics to make sure that the user journey mapped out by the designer resembles a real use case.
It is crucial to note that the key goal of creating a user journey map is to develop a shared vision. After the map is created, the UX UI designers must share it with their peers, so that the whole product development team can look at the whole experience from the standpoint of the user. This perspective can be incredibly helpful for them when crafting a product.