How to create a User Journey Map in 9 Steps +[Template]

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You’ve got a product that you believe can make a difference. But here's the thing: it's not just about the product. It's about the experience. The journey. And if you're reading this, you're probably wondering, "How do I guide my users to not only use my product but fall in love with the experience?" The answer? It starts by building a user journey map.

You’ve likely heard this before: “People don’t remember what you say; they remember how you made them feel.” The same applies to products. It’s not about the features, the sleek design, or even the price. It’s about the emotions you trigger, the problems you solve, and the journey you create.

A user journey map allows you to visualize this journey, ensuring that each interaction holds meaning and resonates deeply with your users.

How to create a User Journey Map?

Step 1: Immerse Yourself in Their Shoes

Before you sketch out any maps or brainstorm touchpoints, close your eyes. Imagine you’re a new user encountering your product for the first time. Feel the anticipation, the excitement, the curiosity.

  • What’s your first impression?
  • What questions are popping into your mind?
  • Which features draw your attention?

Dive deep. This immersive perspective sets the foundation for everything that follows.

Step 2: Define Clear Objectives

Now that you’ve tapped into your users’ emotions, what’s the primary objective you want them to achieve? Maybe it’s completing a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing the product with friends. Have clarity.

Step 3: Segment and Understand Your Audience

People are unique. They come with different backgrounds, emotions, and triggers. Understand their:

  • Demographics
  • Preferences
  • Pain points
  • Dreams and aspirations

By these, you’ll craft journeys that feel personalized.

Step 4: Chart the Touchpoints

Every interaction, whether it’s a click, a swipe, or a scroll, tells a story. Lay out these touchpoints. What would be the entry point of the users? Where might they face hiccups? And most importantly, where do they achieve those “Aha!” moments?

Step 5: Identify Emotion Triggers

Emotion is the silent influencer behind every decision. Identify moments where you can:

  • Inspire: Elevate their aspirations.
  • Empathize: Connect with their struggles.
  • Delight: Exceed their expectations.

Step 6: Visualize the Journey

Now, bring everything together. Use colors, icons, and pathways to sketch out the journey. Whether you’re a fan of Post-it notes or digital tools, make it vibrant. Make it alive. This map is your guide to creating user experiences.

Step 7: Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

Your first draft isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning. As users evolve, so should your journey map. Always be ready to adapt.

Step 8: Collaborate and Share

Don’t keep your user journey map locked away. Share it with your team, stakeholders, and even a select group of loyal users. When more eyes see it, more insights emerge. Each perspective can add a layer of depth, ensuring the journey resonates with a broader set of users.

Step 9: Bring the Narrative Alive

Behind the visuals and touchpoints lies a compelling narrative. For every segment of your audience, what’s the story? From the initial stage to the final product, craft stories.


Here is a pre-filled template of a user journey map for Anna, who wants to buy a new dress for her friend’s birthday party.

StageActionsEmotionsGoalsTouchpointsPain pointsUser experienceOpportunities
AwarenessAnna sees an ad for an online fashion store on Instagram. She clicks on it and lands on the store’s homepage.Curious, interested.She wants to see what kind of dresses the store offers and if they suit her style and budget.Instagram ad, homepage.None.Good.The ad is catchy and relevant, the homepage is attractive and easy to navigate.
ConsiderationAnna browses through the dresses category and filters by size, color, and price. She adds a few dresses to her wishlist and compares them. She also reads some customer reviews and ratings.Excited, indecisive.She wants to find the best dress for her friend’s party and make sure it fits well and has good quality.Dresses category, filters, wishlist, reviews, ratings.Some dresses are out of stock or have long delivery times. Some reviews are negative or inconsistent.Neutral.The store could offer more variety and availability of dresses, as well as more reliable and detailed reviews and ratings.
DecisionAnna selects a dress from her wishlist and adds it to her cart. She checks the size guide and the return policy. She also looks for any discounts or coupons.Confident, hopeful.She wants to confirm her choice and get the best deal possible.Cart, size guide, return policy, discounts, coupons.The size guide is not very clear or accurate. The return policy is strict and costly. There are no discounts or coupons available.Bad.The store could improve the size guide and the return policy to make them more user-friendly and flexible. The store could also offer some incentives or rewards for loyal customers or referrals.
PurchaseAnna proceeds to checkout and enters her personal and payment details. She chooses the delivery option and confirms her order. She receives an order confirmation email with a tracking number.Happy, relieved.She wants to complete her purchase smoothly and securely, and receive her order as soon as possible.Checkout, personal details, payment details, delivery option, order confirmation email, tracking number.None.Good.The checkout process is simple and fast, the payment method is secure, the delivery option is convenient, the order confirmation email is informative and reassuring.
RetentionAnna receives her order on time and likes it. She writes a positive review on the store’s website and gives a 5-star rating. She receives a thank you email from the store with a discount code for her next purchase.Satisfied, delighted, loyal.She wants to enjoy her new dress and share her experience with others. She also wants to stay connected with the store and buy from them again in the future.Order delivery, dress fitting, selfie, Instagram post, tag, review, rating, thank you email, discount code.None.Good.The store delivers on its promise of quality and style, the dress meets Anna’s expectations and needs, the store engages with Anna on social media and encourages her feedback, the store rewards Anna for her loyalty and invites her to come back.

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