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Elaborate on research from your Discovery phase.

Journey mapping


A visualization of the major interactions shaping a user’s experience of a product or service.


To provide design teams with a bird’s-eye view of a service that helps them see the sequence of interactions that make up a user’s experience including the complexity, successes, pain points, and emotions users experience from the earliest phases of researching a product or service all the way through adoption.

Time required

4–12 hours

How to do it

  1. Document the elements of the project’s design context. This includes:
    • People involved and their related goals
    • Their behaviors in pursuit of their goals
    • Information, devices, and services that support their behaviors
    • Important moments in how they experience a service or major decisions they make
    • The emotions associated with these moments or decisions
    • Potential harms (e.g. financial penalties, anxiety, damaged reputation) associated with these moments or decisions
  2. Visualize the order in which people exhibit behaviors, use information, make decisions, and feel emotions. Group elements into a table of “phases” related to the personal narrative of each persona. Identify where personas share contextual components.
  3. Discuss the map with stakeholders. Point out insights it offers. Use these insights to establish design principles. Think about how to collapse or accelerate a customer’s journey through the various phases. Incorporate this information into the project’s scope.

Additional resources

Considerations for use in government

No PRA implications. The PRA explicitly exempts direct observation and non-standardized conversation, 5 CFR 1320.3(h)3. See the methods for Recruiting and Privacy for more tips on taking input from the public.


18F Methods

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