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Mapping your entire user journey

Because all great adventures start with a map. In this playbook, we’ll go over creating visual representations of your user journey—and how to leverage them for an overall greater UX.

What you’ll learn: 

  • How to identify your user persona and their goals.
  • How to list all touchpoints in your user journey.
  • Where to incorporate customer emotions, motivations, obstacles, and pain points into your map.
  • How to determine the resources you already have, and identify what you need.

What you’ll need: 

  • A clear understanding of your product or service.
  • Data about your users (from user research, surveys, analytics, customer interviews, etc.)
  • A blank document or a whiteboard to create the map.
  • A team for brainstorming and discussion.

Suggested playbooks to check out before starting this one:

What is a user journey map?

A user journey map is a visual presentation of a user’s progression through your marketing and sales funnels. In a user journey map, each potential customer touchpoint along your product-led experience is logged and described to get a complete sense of your customers’ experiences with your brand and product.

Depending on your goals, you can create several different types of user journey maps. Each type illustrates a particular dimension of a user’s experience. These variations help teams realize simple truths about their products and customers that would otherwise remain hidden.

Below is an example of a user journey map, which starts with awareness capture via marketing channels and culminates in user advocacy:

In this playbook, we’ll focus on helping you create a user journey map to improve your product-led experience.

Why is mapping your user journey important?

Creating user journey maps can reveal insights into your customers’ experience of your product. These insights will help you to build customer-centric product strategies and smoother user experiences. Mapping your user journey can help you identify UX improvements, create a more seamless product-led experience, and build company-wide user empathy. 

4 steps to mapping out your user journey:

Step 1: Profile your persona and define their goals.

  • Research and profile your primary user persona(s). This includes demographic information, behaviors, preferences, and pain points. For more information, check our playbook for doing user research to improve your product-led experience
  • Define the goals of your user persona. What are they trying to achieve by using your product or service? These goals will form the basis of your user journey.
  • Here’s an example of a user persona we created for the playbook “Creating your user persona.”

Step 2: List out all the major touchpoints in the user journey.

  • Start with the first interaction a user has with your product or service and continue through to the final interaction. Include both online and offline touchpoints.
  • Not every user will take the same path. Create multiple journey maps if you have different types of users or if the same user can have different journeys based on various scenarios.
  • For this step, you can use our User Journey Template.
Appcues User Journey Template.

Step 3: Add customer emotions, motivations, obstacles, and pain points.

  • Next to each touchpoint, jot down how the user feels, what their motivations are at the stage in question, and any obstacles or pain points they might encounter.
  • Use data from your user research to make these determinations. If the data isn't available, make educated guesses and validate them with user testing.

Step 4: Determine the resources you have and the ones you need.

  • Look at each stage of the journey and take note of any resources you have that help the user achieve their goals at that stage.
  • Identify where user support is needed, but not currently offered.. These gaps represent opportunities to improve in your product or service.
Looking for more Playbooks? Go back to the Product-Led Growth Flywheel →