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Pathways to Perfection: Transforming Experiences with User Journey Mapping

When it comes to a website or digital product the main question any business should ask is ‘How do people actually use our product or site?’ To find your answer to this question you need to understand the whole experience from a user's perspective. We sat down with our Creative Director, Gemma, to discuss everything you need to know about user journey maps and how the team tackles any digital product project.

When it comes to a website or digital product the main question any business should ask is ‘How do people actually use our product or site?’ To find your answer to this question you need to understand the whole experience from a user's perspective. User journey mapping is a great way to understand how a user will see and use your product.

We sat down with our Creative Director, Gemma, to discuss everything you need to know about user journey maps and how the team tackles any digital product project.

Gemma Bullimore LR

What Is A User Journey And Why Is It Important?

“At its core, a user journey serves as a carefully crafted path that we want a user to take when using a website or app. It’s like a roadmap but for the digital product. Our main aim is to connect the dots between what the user wants and how they can get it from a website.”

The success of a brand isn’t just about the products or services it offers it's also about the kind of experience and the journey it takes users on. We have a blog all about the critical link between brand perception and user experience on our website.

What Is Meant By User Journey Mapping?

“A user journey map is a visual representation of how several user journeys connect together to create a holistic customer experience.”

How Do You Approach User Journey Mapping When Creating Or Redesigning A Product?

“Every web project we take on we start with a discovery workshop. This allows us to collaborate with our clients to draw knowledge and piece together the core elements of what the website needs to deliver. During the workshop, we run user persona activities that allow us to identify who the users are, what they want and if they have any current pain points that we can find solutions for. We also run activities that allow us to discover what the client wants to achieve with the website and what is needed from a practical perspective to make a realistic user journey map.”

The average time that it takes a user to form an opinion on a website is about 0.05 seconds. This means first impressions really matter so ensuring the initial interaction and user journey is as seamless as possible is paramount to a successful website.

What Tools Or Techniques Do You Use For Creating User Journey Maps?

“In our workshops and ideation sessions, we use a blend of methodologies to drive innovation and shape user journey maps. At the core of our approach is Design Thinking, which allows us to view the website through three very distinct perspectives. First, the cognitive, this focuses on user desires. The strategic viewpoint thinks about what the clients’ objectives and goals are and finally, the practical angle looks at what technologies are available to make it all possible.

Design Thinking

To analyse all this information and drill down into what is essential to the core purpose of the project our creatives use the Double Diamond Technique. This is a mindset that allows us to expand our thinking from the initial information and consider all possibilities for the project. We’re then able to start to refine ideas by using our design thinking perspectives to narrow down the viable options.

Double Diamond

Defining user journeys isn’t a linear process so Agile Working is crucial. We ideate, test and review ideas to understand how they work in reality. Agile working is a fast-paced process that makes evaluating ideas very efficient. Our workshop discussions thrive on an informal and tactile approach. Where hands-on interaction fuels dynamic discussions and creates the best environment to extract information. Having workshops in person is always great but sometimes it's not feasible to do this so we use miro as an online collaborative workshop tool to keep that tactile and personal experience alive in a remote setting.

How Do You Ensure That The User Journey Map Accurately Represents The Target Audience's Needs And Behaviours?

“Design thinking allows us to review the wants, needs and practicalities of a project in parallel, making it easier to design user journey maps. Having this holistic view of all the attributes and goals that need to be considered allows us to produce the right experience and user journey for the audience.”

What Are Some Common Challenges You Face When Creating User Journey Maps And How Do You Overcome Them?

“One of the most common challenges we face when creating user journey maps is that it can be hard for some clients to get into the right mindset when presented with a discovery workshop. However, we understand that this is not an everyday activity for them and can be quite daunting. This is why we have designed our workshops to guide clients to adapt to the right mindset through our intuitive activities. They are educational for both us and the client as we learn about what they need from the website and we’re able to offer outside perspectives to the clients through the activities. The key thing for clients to remember is you really need to understand your users and what they’re looking to gain out of your website or service. If you can’t give them what they want or need they won't be interested so the look and feel of the website won't mean anything. Getting the user journey mapped out is key to a successful website.”

If you’re interested in learning more about user behaviours and how to influence change you can head over to our blog to read more from one of our behavioural psychologists.

How Often Would You Recommend Revisiting/Updating Your User Journey?

“There are many different times which a business could consider reviewing or redefining their core user journeys. One may be that your business is going through a rebrand. You would want to revisit your website and ensure your user journey and the goals and attributes match the new brand (as well as the usual look and design of the website). Another point in which a business may re-look at their user journeys is if they are looking at the state of their website. Many businesses look to optimise their website to make it more searchable or faster. During this, you should also look at your user journey and map out whether anything needs to be changed to help make the user experience seamless. Finally, one of the biggest reasons for relooking at your user journey is large shifts in consumer trends. For example, during covid people started to use websites to buy things online more than ever because they were unable to get out to the shops. This trend of more online shopping made many brands revisit their user journey maps to make sure that they’re website is as seamless as possible”

Covid-19 had a massive impact on how users interact with brands, online shopping soared by February 2021 it was reported that online shopping had grown by 75% just in the UK. The pandemic created one of the biggest shifts in consumer trends we have seen. This proved brands needed to ensure their online experience was seamless and the user journey was flawless to avoid losing customers.

Give Us An Example Of A Successful User Journey Map That Had A Significant Impact On A Website Or Product.

“A recent project we were involved in was for our client William Davis. They wanted to refresh their website, making it more modern, intuitive and tailored to their customer needs. We started with our discovery workshop with the William Davis team to begin to understand who their users were and what they wanted to achieve with their website as a business. Through a few sessions, we were able to define exactly who the users are, what the key journeys they need to take whilst on the site and how this all would work together.”

Overall, we aimed to create an enriched brand experience for William Davis website users (launching soon).

If you’re looking to learn more about our digital offering and how we put the user at the heart of everything we do, head over to our digital page.

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