A User Journey is basically what it sounds like: the journey a user goes on when trying to accomplish a task. For example, you might think it’s pretty easy to open your phone and post something on social media. True, but when we break down all the steps it actually takes, it begins to shed light on how we might improve the process.

And remember, different platforms do things slightly differently. The process to post to Instagram is different than posting to Snapchat, even though you’re really just posting a photo.

User Journey Maps (some people might call them storyboards) will help you and your team understand and document the steps someone needs to take to success- fully accomplish a task. To break it down, you need to think about sequencing, breaking the process into small steps so you can better understand each one.

Let’s pretend we’re making a taco delivery app (because everyone loves tacos). We’ll start by listing each major step someone has to do to successfully complete the task. For example:

  1. Open the app
  2. Choose a taco
  3. Choose a delivery address
  4. Pay for the taco
  5. Complete the order

Simple enough. But there are other things involved if you look a little closer.

  1. Get your phone out of your pocket/purse/bag
  2. Unlock the phone
  3. Locate the app icon
  4. Open the app
  5. Wait for the app to load
  6. Go to the taco menu
  7. Choose a taco
  8. Choose ingredients (chicken, beans, rice, etc.)
  9. Add to cart
  10. Wait for visual or audio indication the taco was added to the cart
  11. Repeat if you want more tacos
  12. View cart
  13. And so on...

You get the idea. Creating a User Journey needs to be pretty detailed so you can find opportunities to create value for the user.

Now that you understand the process, draw a box on the whiteboard or use a sticky note to describe each step of the User Journey. This will help you see how to design your product’s workflow to make sure it does what the user needs (useful), does it in a way that’s easy to use (usable), and find ways to simplify the process and make it fun (desirable).

In the end, you want your User Journey Map to show a view of how your product supports the user getting to a successful outcome.