UX Best Practices: Use User Journeys to Map a Personas’ Experience and Uncover Challenges and Opportunities

What is a user journey?

A user journey visually maps a persona’s experience with a digital product, relating to a specific goal. They can describe a persona’s experience with the the current product or an ideal experience that the team has yet to create. User journeys should be created as a result of primary research—interviews and/or usability studies with current or potential users.

At Voice+Code, we usually create user journeys of the current experience, mapping out challenges and opportunities and working with teams to develop recommendations for improving the persona’s experience with the product. User journeys are extremely helpful in breaking down a complex series of user thoughts, feelings, and actions—often across a variety of touchpoints. Because of this, teams are able to get actionable insights into how to improve the product at different stages of the journey without losing sight of the overall experience.

A user journey includes:

  • Persona’s name.

  • The goal that persona is trying to achieve.

  • Different stages of interaction with the digital product, which can sometimes include a variety of online/offline touchpoints.

  • Persona’s perspective throughout the journey.

  • Potential roadblocks that would prevent the persona from accomplish their goal.

  • Insights and recommendations for improving the user journey.

Like personas, user journeys are living documents. They can and should be updated over time. After a user journey exercise, your team may also decide to zoom in or out of the user journey you created. For example, you want to break down a specific interaction into smaller pieces or you want to step back to better understand the customer journey with the brand.

Interested in learning more about creating user journeys and how they can be used to improve your digital product? Our in-house workshop, UX Strategy for Successful Digital Products, shows your team how to a variety of UX research methods and UX artifacts like personas, scenarios, and user journeys to create better user experiences.