Designing User journeys

So what is a user journey?

In web terms, a user journey is a process flow diagram which specifically looks at the individual pages a user must navigate through, in order to complete a task.

You create a ‘box’ for each individual page, identifying new and existing pages if applicable;

creating new and existing pages

You can also identify what we call ‘page stacks’, where there are multiple pages, such as product pages, news pages or gallery pages and the specific order of the pages is either not important or contextually defined;

page stack

You also identify decisions, or forks in the journey, with diamonds with multiple different outcomes, such as ‘Is the user registered’, with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as possible outcomes and then the pages they would have to navigate through, such as the ‘Login’ page, or the ‘Registration’ pages.

possible outcomes for journey

Those are the key elements to any user journey, but you can also include additional information, such as an automatically created email, a call to a database and multiple concurrent actions.

key elements for user journey
So when do you use a user journey?

Once you have identified key site users and the tasks they would like to be able to undertake on the site, user journeys are used to map out the pages the user must go through in order to successfully undertake these tasks. They help to describe the processes required and pages needed to allow the user to achieve their goals in order to obtain a common agreed set of pages and functionality.