Why do designers always want to do journey mapping?

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 other policy skills books on Bookshop.org