Why do designers always want to do journey mapping?

This was originally posted as a thread on Twitter.

Designers in organisations aren’t the experts, they’re often there to support the team identify problems and test hypotheses. Journey mapping is often the first tool in a designers hand for organising the information the team needs to be able to both see what they do as providing a service and help prioritise where to focus.

Journey mapping:

  • is the most efficient way to share all the information from everyone’s heads
  • empowers teams to make decisions as they can see how it fits together
  • reduces reliance on subject matter experts and their control over decision making
  • can make services simpler by forcing you to lay them out in linear way from the perspective of a chosen user – services are often a complex web of products and processes and my brain actually can’t handle that.
  • can keep track of assumptions, user needs, tools, research findings etc
  • is a conversation prompt, the conversation going on around the map and while mapping is so much more than the map itself Stefania Passera
  • can highlight the complexities in a user’s journey, if the experts can’t agree on what happens at each stage, how is the user supposed to know? Adele Gilpin
  • can highlight to policy makers just how little we know about our users and show when a piece of work needs doing fairly urgently Clair Fisher
  • reduces resistance to change, highlighting that we often don’t know why things work the way they do. Becky Colley

Things to consider

This is a one off exercise and you’ll need to set aside a morning with everyone together.

Sometimes things have been mapped to death and you’ve just got to ship something.

Further reading

A post by Kate Ivey-Williams about how to map journeys.

A post about improving content through journey mapping by Matt Clear and Gabrielle Acosta which explains how it helps to create a service that solves a whole problem for users.

Clair Fisher has a collection of policy skills books on Bookshop.org