What Role Should Journey Maps Play in Improving User Experience?

May 26th, 2017
What Role Should Journey Maps Play in Improving User Experience?

Journey Maps play an important role in improving the user experience. They help an organization to truly understand what their customers, or users, want and feel when using their product. In doing so, they give an organization the chance to make the necessary changes that will ensure a great customer experience.

So, what is a Customer Journey Map?

Very simply, a Journey Map is a tangible representation of the journey a customer takes from their first interaction with a product to the time they complete their intended action.

As an executive, you’ll get a representative visualization of how your customers move through the sales funnel. When you see that, you’ll be able to identify opportunities to further strengthen the overall experience your users have when interacting with your product.

When copy is written for use in your application, it’s best to understand what your users are asking themselves and how they feel. Journey maps will help you understand this.

A customer journey map can turn average UX design into great UX design. Half the battle when constructing a complete UX picture for your application is understanding what the end user is trying to achieve. Journey maps will aid you in this.

UX Journey Maps Matter, Here’s Why...

Possibly the most important individual for whom a journey map can work is the UX (User Experience) designer whose focus is to detail the complete customer experience. Customer journey maps make any problems with the flow from start to purchase glaringly obvious. Oftentimes, stepping back and taking a wider view of the whole process is exactly what a project needs to fill in the blanks. Only then can they assess areas for improvement in the functionality, look, and flow.

Journey map effectiveness is dependent on clearly identifying two key pillars:

  • Incongruity between platforms if a user moves from one device to another
  • Opportunities to galvanize the purchasing experience across an entire enterprise

Both pillars are essential and there must be clarity of both for any online application aiming to convince a customer to make a purchase.

The challenge with creating journey maps begins with building context. This depends on garnering input from all teams/divisions involved with the product; embracing a customer-centric culture that places the customer firmly at the center of all decisions and introducing storytelling into the mix. Stories garnered from research (stats and testimonials) that share customer motivations and emotional drivers are proven to engage and build long-term relationships between companies and their customers.

An experienced UX designer will gather the relevant information to map every aspect of the customer’s experience – simplifying complicated data and nuances, identify gaps and points of differentiation, and then effectively engage the organization to better align their product with their customers’ needs and wants.

Mobile, social media and Web 2.0 have changed customer behavior, that’s undeniable. Placing your customers at the center of the design process is imperative. The more you can think like them when designing a product for them to use, the better. Journey maps play a powerful and important role in making sure that happens.