User Journey Mapping

A window into your users’ experience. Empathize with the user, align with your team, break down silos.

Image by Storyset from Freepik

Evaluative method
Suggested Time

3-4 weeks

Required Expertise



Research results, User Journey template


Design, Management, Marketing, Customer Support (e.g. call centers)

Must have
This method can be applied to all types of innovations.


A User Journey (in commercial contexts also called customer journey map) is a research-based map of the steps that a user goes through in your product to achieve a goal. These visualizations include touchpoints, your users’ feelings, pain points and ideas for improvement in a sequential order.


Marketing and sales teams use User or Customer Journeys to identify how they can help customers learn about the service offer, product teams use it to improve the overall experience, customer service teams can identify places users may need extra help with.


Whenever you want to redesign or generally improve your users’ experience, User Journeys are a great way to find the point from where to start, as it highlights pitfalls and points of friction. Also, if your analytic data show you that something is happening – e.g. usage is going down – User journey mapping helps to find out why.

How much time

We suggest to calculate with 2-3 days for internal research and agenda setting, 1 week for qualitative research, 1-2 weeks for quantitative research and 1-2 days for the mapping exercise itself.


A User Journey visualization gives everyone in your team a single, shared agreement on what they’re building (and why). It is also a great starting point for re-designs. Other potential objectives for your User Journey could include:

  • Define how marketing can improve messaging.
  • Understand what turns customers into advocates for your product.
  • Learn about how current pain points affect decision making throughout the users’ journey.
  • Identify concrete improvements the team can make to your product.

Why it’s useful

Creates empathy with the user
Gives each team context of which part of the user experiences their work will affect

Potential challenges

Needs prior research and user persona

Is this for you?

Get step-by-step guidance, expert tips and best practice examples for effective User Journey Mapping.

Mapping User Journeys in Ethiopia

Image by Charlotte Schumann

Berta Ortiz - Design specialist, Alliance Bioversity and CIAT

“We've delved into the Tanzanian breeding community's needs and challenges, creating a unified breeding and data journey based on user insights. This is helping us to develop a mobile phenotyping tool that caters exactly to what breeders need.” Image by Berta Ortiz
Why Researchers Found This Useful
Image by Charlotte Schumann

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