How to Create User Journeys Biased Toward Action from Amber Rucker
How to create user journeys biased toward action
These user journeys are not exactly the traditional journeys you may have used or seen in the past. I’ve found that many user journey documents are used as reference materials, simply mapping the journey and then hung in the office as an idyllic document for guidance or onboarding materials. However, these particular user journeys are meant to be actionable immediately and long-term. They serve to align the business, as all journeys do, but are meant to set out a group of focus areas that unite the organization in action towards bettering them. This exercise should be followed up with impact into each team's OKRs, aligning the company in these themes.
These user journeys are also something I use to get an organization aligned around the goal of de-siloing customer and user experience. While each team touches a few points within a user journey, the user doesn’t draw such clean and easy lines as our internal organization and reporting structure does. If there is no owner of the experience as a whole then the company needs to tackle the unified experience cross functionally. This can be a great start for that thinking.
In this exercise you should create a user journey for each of your products/product offerings or pricing levels. The journeys within those spaces are going to be different and you should try to reflect that reality. These are meant to be most helpful for PLG organizations as they place emphasis on the points in a user journey when they may need additional support, may be ready to take on more, are able to upgrade, or are forming new habits, thus giving you specific times/stages to target and support self-serve.
Something to have prepared already
I won’t go into how to create personas in this guide but hopefully through this research you can refine those even further. I will say that starting with personas that are geared towards someone’s goals, how they are measured for success and challenges in their roles tends to help and provide more actionable results. Also, starting with use cases can help with marketing/sales functions or product led teams around what an organization or team might require as well as when might be a good time to drop in motivation for upgrading/upsells/etc.
Step One: Talk to People
I believe firmly that all learning is relevant. Many of us have spent much of our career bootstrapped, hoping for greater access to customers or a bit under-resourced; I wanted this guide to be as accessible to as many practitioners as possible. I think, even when we are simply taking what we can get, there is a lot of learning to be had. I have another guide around agile research that can go into signals vs findings and those deliveries, that can help more here. However, In most user journey exercises I leverage internal interviews from across the business, as many customers as we can get, survey results, support tickets, as well as interviews with users of competitors, or people within our target personas and their experiences in similar spaces.
I've attached an interview script for interviewing users and “potential users” - reminder that interviewing the leaders of these organizations or the sales POC is only helpful if you are mapping the journey of that exact persona, or the buyer journey. A buyer journey is NOT a user journey and the info they can give you is often assumptions as well.