Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Mapping helps you understand the situations, motivations, and expected outcomes for users who'd encounter your solutions to the problems. Think about who will be interacting with your solution, product or service and write short user stories as a way to categorize those different situations.

A customer journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal tied to a specific business or product. It’s used for understanding and addressing customer needs and 


In its most basic form, journey mapping starts by compiling a series of 

and actions into a timeline skeleton. Next, the skeleton is fleshed out with user thoughts and emotions in order to create a narrative. Finally, that narrative is condensed into a visualization used to communicate insights that will inform design processes.


  • The map is tied to a specific product or service.
  • It is split into 4 swim lanes: phases, actions, thoughts, mindsets/emotions.
  • It reflects the user’s perspective:
    • Including her mindset, thoughts, and emotions
    • Leaving out most process details
  • It is chronological.
  • There is one map per persona/user type (1:1 mapping).

Why use it:

  • To pinpoint specific customer journey touch points that cause pain or delight
  • To break down silos to create one shared, organization-wide understanding of the customer journey
  • To assign ownership of key touch points in the journey to internal departments

When to use it:

  • At any point in the design process, as a reference point amongst a team throughout a product design cycle

The 5 steps of successful Customer Journey Mapping


Five key steps comprise a standardized framework for customer journey mapping that can be scaled to any scope or timeline. Effective customer journey mapping follows five key high-level steps:

1. Aspiration and allies: Building a core cross disciplinary team and defining the scope of the mapping initiative 2. Internal investigation: Gathering existing customer data and research that exists throughout the organization 3. Assumption formulation: Formulating a hypothesis of the current state of the journey and planning additional customer research 4. External research: Collecting new user data to validate (or invalidate) the hypothesis journey map 5. Narrative visualization: Combining existing insights and new research to create a visual narrative that depicts the customer journey in a sound way

Benefits of Journey Maps

  • Provides a clear picture of the user experience.
  • Creates empathy for the user.
  • Identifies opportunities to enhance the experience.
  • Identifies gaps between devices, departments and channels.
  • Can help understand quantitative data.