Journey Map

Journey maps are visualization of how users live their lives and how your product fits into it. They are composites of real experiences of users based on information discovered during qualitative research and task analysis. Journeys are not simply maps of how users use your product, but look at the more holistic and comprehensive experience.

When to Use

  1. To provide stakeholders and other team members with a bird’s-eye view of an experience to understand the stages, flow of activities, emotional highs and lows, channels of information consumption and creation, and points of pain or confusion to inform where opportunities exist within specific moments of the user’s journey.
  2. To understand how product changes will positively or negatively impact the existing user’s journey.
  3. As a collaborative exercise to provide a details from cross functional teams, to understand assumptions across the teams, to encourage teams to empathize with the user.


  1. Determine context and user goal that you’d like to document, including who the user is. Focus on stories that have a clear beginning and end. It does not have to be completed in all in a single moment - a journey can span a lot of time.
  2. Complete an analysis that captures all the tasks and touchpoints required to accomplish the user’s goal.
  3. Gather all relevant research and data, especially insights that document user’s frustrations and challenges. Note all of the user’s desires, expectations, and the challenges associated with the task stages. A journey map can be made on assumptions but its much more effective with data - a reason to use assumptions is to leverage the map to encourage the required research to accurately determine the quality of the experience.
  4. Visualize the order in which people exhibit behaviors, use information, make decisions, and feel emotions.
  5. Share and discuss the map with stakeholders.


  7. Adaptive Path’s Guide to Experience Mapping

Templates (if applicable)


Workshop Exercise

Attendees Ideal Size Suggested Time
Domain Experts 5 - 8 people 1 - 2 hours
  1. Prepare the journey steps beforehand
  2. Explain the goal of the workshop and what journey maps are and how they’re used
  3. Review and make adjustments to the steps
  4. Give everyone colored Post-its and example each color’s meaning (green = action, orange = thought & feeling, blue = need, red = challenge)
  5. Spending 30 minutes writing down each step
  6. Review all the notes step-by-step

Created by: Joe Steinkamp | Last updated by: Joe Steinkamp