Why do Indian cards have an OTP mechanism whereas cards in the States enable transactions with just a swipe? Why do people prefer the convenience of shopping at Myntra or Flipkart as compared to e-commerce portals of traditional retail outlets? Why is brick and mortar retail getting a paradigm shift to changing the buying behavior through experience stores, (Eg. Pepperfry, The Bombay Shirt Company)? These are all fundamental questions related to the varying user journeys of users in different markets and industries creating starkly different user experiences. In the highly competitive market where the user is spoilt for choice, only the products which ensure out-of-the-world user experience (or UX for short) survive and thrive.
A UX designer always tries to engineer the product aptly for the user so that she can capture the emotion of the user perfectly at every step and give the user a seamless experience of using the product. To capture a user’s behavior and effectively gain insights on the user’s feelings while interacting with the product, it is essential for every UX engineer to create a user journey, which acts as a blueprint for creating a seamless product always keeping the user in mind.
Creating a user journey always requires a few pre-requisites, such as the persona of the user, which is a detailed character sketch of the target group for your product; the business goal which the user journey wishes to achieve; the scenario in which the user tries to achieve the business goal; and the context, which is defined by the external agents and the environment of the user surrounding the scenario. A comprehensive user journey always sketches out every possible outcome due to a user-product interaction. Some salient features every user journey maps should have are as follows:
- A title for the journey, which clearly states the end business goal
- A persona sketch including a picture of the same
- A series of progressive steps outlining every probable User Interaction or UI, an illustration of what happens at every UI interaction and the emotional state of the user persona at every step
A few tips should be kept in mind by the UX designer while defining the user journey for the product:
- Always define a clear business goal and do thorough user research through surveys before creating a user journey so that you always have the end goal and how the user thinks in mind
- Always do white-boarding and define every step using sticky notes to avoid making shabby user journeys without experimentation of various ideas. But in the meanwhile, try keeping the journey as simple as possible. Ideally, the best user journey should be linear in nature.
- Try experimenting with new ideas and paths to get to the best possible user journey ensuring the best user experience.
So, a user journey is like a blueprint for every UX designer to communicate design decisions regarding the products to every stakeholder effectively as well as prioritize features of the product so as to reduce the negative emotional state of the user (confused/frustrated/angry) to the minimum and create a quality product. So start planning your UX team and user journey to make the next fantabulous product out there.