What is a user journey Map?
A user journey map is a visual representation of the interaction between a user and a website, including touchpoints (like banners and buttons) and actions (like clicking and scrolling). Consumer behavior has changed drastically over recent years. Gone are the days where users were happy to complete one task on your site before moving onto another - today's consumers expect immediate results or they'll go elsewhere. With the vast amounts of data available at our fingertips today, it's easier than ever to create a user journey map and improve user experience on your site.
Use visitor tracking software to help you
Visitor tracking can provide valuable insight into what users do on your website - how far they scroll down the page, how long they stay on each page, where they come from and more. This data can be used to help you create actions for the user journey map, which you can use to make changes to your website.
The data from visitor tracking can be used to create a more personalized experience for visitors, as well as recreating the user journey. This creates a more engaging and meaningful user experience on your website.
5 Steps To Creating A User Journey Map
Creating a user persona
A user journey map should be created based on real data that shows what users do on your site, the actions they take and how they interact with your brand overall. You can then use this data to create a user persona - a fictitious character that represents your typical user. This will help you to create goals and motivations for the journey, items which will appear on the map.
Be sure to look at visitor tracking data analysis to help you form your user persona and look at existing customers as well as those lost from the site, and which demographic they represent. All of this information can be used to build the most accurate profile of a potential visitor. The more detailed the better the outcome of this exercise will be.
Define user expectations and scenario
It’s important to define what you expect users’ intentions and actions to be. An example might be: “The user will search for X product on my ecommerce website.” Once you’ve defined this, you can create a scenario. The scenario should consist of steps users will take between landing on your website and completing the main task, as well as their expectations at each step of the process.
Again detail is key here, but the scenario should be simple. After all if it’s not and it’s complicated then chances are it will be complicated for the real user too.
Creating a list of touchpoints
Touchpoints are, in essence, any moment when the user and the website interact. These moments could be when users click or scroll on elements such as menus and navigation bars, search boxes and contact forms - essentially every area where they interact with your site is considered a touchpoint. By creating a list of these, you can then work out which are helpful to them and which could be improved.
When creating this list there are a number of touchpoints that would be automatically included - things like homepage carousels or social sharing buttons and call-to-actions (CTA), for example. The trick here is to look at all aspects of your site, however small they may be. Everything on your website is part of the user journey and therefore should be easy to follow.
Understanding user intention
This is where the data from visitor tracking comes into play, as it helps to understand what users are trying to achieve. The data can be used to not only create a list of touchpoints but also their purpose, whether they work well and if any other features need adding or improving upon.
User intention is a mix of understanding the user and what they’re trying to achieve on your site, while also filling in the blanks. For example if during data analysis you have found that many users are coming from search engines rather than from your newsletters or social media channels, it will be clear that this is how you initially get new visitors to your site.
Testing, validating and refining the user journey map
Once you have a detailed user journey map created from the data from visitor tracking , it’s time to test, validate and refine it as much as possible to ensure that users will see the optimized version. This means either creating a prototype which you can then use for testing or putting live the changes and monitoring the results for a set period.
Again the more data you have to work with, the better this process will be. This is because it gives you a clear picture of what users’ goals and expectations are at each touchpoint they come across when using your website and how and if you can improve on these.