Journey Maps

What is a journey map?

A journey map is a diagram that shows the steps or stages a person goes through when they interact with a company, product, or several products.

They are important because they provide a detailed and holistic view of the customer experience, which helps businesses understand their customers’ needs, desires, and pain points. By identifying these touchpoints and moments of frustration, companies can better design and improve their products or services to meet customer expectations and create a more satisfying and engaging experience. 

A man checking his phone while standing next to his bike.

What do you need to create a journey map?


  • Possibly a few days to analyze your existing research and pool it all together
  • ~4-8 hours to create the journey map


  • A design tool to visually map out your findings and the customer’s journey
  • Access to your existing user research, including personas if you have them already.

How do you create a journey map?

A group of people at a table sketching and taking notes.

Step 1: Determine the scope of your journey map

Journey maps can be as focused as to cover a specific flow in your product, or widened to cover your customer’s journey across several products. You need to decide on the scope of your jouney map so you can focus all of the following steps in this process.

Step 2: Determine the customer segment to focus on

This will help you focus your research. In the end, you may have a few different customer segments, each with their own journey map.

Step 3: Collect data

Gather customer feedback, user research, analytics data, and other relevant information to understand your customer’s current experience. 

You’re going to want to collect data on:

  • Touchpoints: The various interactions that the customer has with the company or product
  • Emotions: The customer’s feelings and reactions at each touchpoint
  • Pain points: The customer’s frustrations or obstacles at each touchpoint
  • Opportunities: Ways to improve the customer experience and create a more positive outcome.

This would be a great time to create personas or update your existing ones.

Step 4: Map the customer journey

Create a visualization of the customer’s journey, including the touchpoints, emotions, pain points, and opportunities for improvement.

Step 5: Validate the journey map

Test the journey map with customers and other stakeholders to ensure it accurately reflects the customer experience.

Step 6: Use the journey map to drive action

Use the insights from the journey map to make improvements to the customer experience, optimize processes, plan more research, and identify new opportunities.

Tips for a great journey map

  • You can make extra rows of information if it will help with the goal of the journey map. For example, you can have a set of rows for the existing flow, and a set of rows for what you predict the new flow will do.
  • Continuously update the journey map as the customer experience evolves and new insights become available.
  • Express concrete thoughts in the form of quotations from the point of view of the persona
  • You can find many examples of journey maps online that you can use for reference and inspiration.
  • When creating your series of touchpoints, try to include obstacles. This will help your design team take into account unlikely but common scenarios in which a user’s negative impression of your product is not your fault but could be alleviated.
A woman taking notes while video chatting to another woman.

More resources for journey maps