User Mapping


2 - 5


1 hour


Pens, sticky notes, large sheet of paper, user understanding


Make sure you all have an understanding of the service and types of users involved. If there is a current user journey this needs to be visible or at least common knowledge in the group.

Define the specific user who's journey you are mapping, there might be multiple types of users and each should have their own journey mapped. Define this users end goal. What do they want to achieve from this journey?

The user should have some defining attributes for example: age, sex, job role (as a minimum).

TIP: If you find that the user journey is becoming increasingly complex, try and narrow down the user demographic. You might find that the user you are trying to map is too broad and needs to be specified more.

Step One

Create a starting point for this specific user. Their journey might start offline or on another website or platform. Think about how they find this digital service and why would they use is.

Draw out the starting point on a sticky note at one end of the sheet with the end goal on another sticky at the other side.

Step Two

Think about what information this user needs to achieve their goal. For example if you want a user to sign up to a particular service, they would need to know

  • What the service is
  • What that service offers
  • How they sign up to that service
  • What that service needs from them
  • What the user should expect to happen after

Each of these points should be noted on a sticky note, and one by one they should start forming the user journey.

User journey mapping gif

Example of a simple user journey

Step Three

Sometimes a user journey can take multiple routes and forms. If we ask the user a question then we also need to provide answers and journeys for for multiple results.

These can be added to the same journey map, making it look like a forked path.

User journey mapping - forked

Example of a user journey with multiple routes

Step Four

It's also important to find all the things that might cause friction in a user journey. As each part of the user journey is being added think about where the user could meet friction.

This are things that will stop the user achieving their goal, examples might include:

  • Complex sign up form structure
  • Information needed that the user might not have to hand
  • Unclear calls to action
  • Red herring pages which take the user away from their main goal

Note all these down on sticky notes and add them to the bottom of the board, whilst these are being added talk about how this can be avoid and solutions that can be implemented.

Step Five

You can repeat this for as many users as you service has. You might find that some journey are very similar.

These user journey maps should now provide clear direction for designers to start creating low fidelity prototypes. We like to then use our prototypes to compare with the original journey maps and ensure that our visual ideas are inline with user needs.