Journey Maps - Spring2 Innovation

Journey Maps

April 5, 2021

The Design Thinker has a suite of tools at their disposal to empathize effectively with end-users. Chief among these tools are journey maps. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of journey maps, how to create one, and explore how they break down the user journey step by step to visualize the experience and tell a story about “a day in the life” of the user.


There are two types of journey maps

The two types of journey maps are current journey maps and future journey maps. Current journey maps allow organizations to identify and recognize problems within the existing service journey. Optionally, you can also note potential solutions on a current journey map.


Future journey maps are also called “ideal journey maps.” They are used when organizations are looking to re-design their current service, improve on an existing product or service, or create a brand-new user experience.


The different parts of a journey map

Journey maps are based on a path that the user is taking – the specific scenario should be clearly labeled on the journey map and identify the overall goals and challenges that the user is facing throughout their journey.


Next, the user’s actions should be listed in chronological order, with their thoughts and emotions included with each action/step through identifying what is working well and what is not working well. If your product or service is time-sensitive, include a timeline in the journey map.

Depending on how detailed you want to be with your journey map, you can also include some insights or opportunities during each step to improve user experience. The sum of the actions and the accompanying descriptions of the user experience should create a narrative that contributes to a visualization of the user journey.


What can journey maps help accomplish?

They help align an organization’s view of the user or customer they are serving by visually displaying their actions, emotions, and the touchpoints and channels they encounter while engaging with the product or service.


The purpose of journey mapping is to allow organizations to meet their goals by creating a shared understanding of the user experience – whether it is to improve their service offering or user experience or to ensure a seamless, consistent experience across all channels.


Like personas and empathy maps, journey maps should be created with users or, at the very least, should be validated by the users. Make use of existing data within your organization or begin to gather data before starting a new journey map to ensure the accuracy of the journey. Organizations should involve users in creating journey maps to ensure they are accurate and capture as clear a picture of the experience as possible.


Keep in mind that journey maps will look different between organizations and even product lines – so the contents of the journey map may be different. It is most important to include what is relevant and descriptive for the individual journey you are mapping and the goals and challenges your organization is looking to solve. For more on journey maps, check out our video here:


As part of Spring2 Innovation’s Design Thinking Certificate, we teach learners how to create journey maps and conduct other types of user research before beginning a new design (or re-design) of a product or service that involves end-users.

To learn more about Design Thinking or to become Design Thinking Certified with Spring2 Innovation, please contact