Business, Development, Fundamentals, Project Management Tuesday March 16, 2021

A Detailed Guide To User Journey Map In Software Development

User journeys are more complex today than a few decades back. Today, business owners and developers are more concerned about how the customer’s emotions and behaviour is transforming into the entire product journey. The customer experience and the sentiments are driving the customer lifecycle strategies of the company.

According to the Aberdeen Group’s Report, companies see an average of 24.9% YOY increase in revenue by managing the customer experience. Effective user journey mapping can help you achieve your digital strategy without any setbacks.

This article will help you understand user journey mapping in software development and guide you to carry it out efficiently.

What is a user journey map?

A user journey map is also known as a customer journey map. It is a simple diagrammatical visualisation of a user’s interaction with a business or brand over time across different web platforms. It is a simple representation of all touchpoints between the user and the software product.

User journey maps can be of different shapes and formats. This map contains all the critical information about all possible channels that users might use to interact with your software. The user journey map might start with the simple initial contact, but the continued engagement can lead the visitor to become a long-term customer.

User Journey map aims to identify the key interactions and touchpoints of the customer with your website or app. This map direct and motivate the customer to attain your goals step-by-step. It also focuses on developing a customer-centric approach to build your software product that leads to a simple journey or better customer relationship.

For example, you might feel the need to remove a specific step from your home page flow that changes the way you collect user’s email ids. Lead generation is one of the common reason for web presence.

Make sure you nurture the email collection method to fullest to gain the maximum benefit. Analyse different user’s interaction methods with your software to lay a foundation for your personalised user journey.

What are the types of a user journey map?

If you are having a conversation with a bunch of developers regarding the “user journey mapping”, you might get confused with varying information that you have never heard of! This often happens because even though everyone is talking about journeys, they might be talking about different types of journeys for different purposes.

Some of the journeys resemble each other a lot, but the differences are often pretty considerable. So, for example, the user experience and customer experience map show quite a bit of similarity. However, they are different types of user journeys that are explicitly distinct from one another.

Let’s explore the different types of user journey maps in detail:

1.   User Experience Maps:

User experience maps aim to track the customer behaviours at each stage of the process flow. It calculates the user moves from beginning to the end to achieve the desired business goal. This target goal could be anything, such as buying the product or availing the service.

The user experience maps are designed cumulatively for all the potential customers. There is no specific focus on any particular demographic, company, or userbase of the brand. The experience mapping exercise makes you think about users’ wants and needs. Understanding their requirement will guide you with appropriate actions on your software.

2.   Empathy Maps:

Empathy maps are not concerned about the user journey steps that lead him to the destination. This map is divided into four main sections. It mainly aims to analyse what the user says, thinks, does, and feels when exploring your software product. These sections try to understand the user emotions and actions during the journey.

You can create empathy maps by conducting user interviews for your product and services. Find ways to interact with your target audience and fetch their responses to improve your software. Also, observe the user’s reaction and improve your software product directly. Ensure to culminate your experience into your product in real-time.

3.   Sales Automation Journey Maps:

Sales automation journey maps are also called the Marketing Automation or Sales Journeys map. As the name suggests, this map helps the sales and marketing team map the customer’s sales journey. Here the aim is to generate the product or service awareness then convert them into a prospect that would

finally lead him to become a dedicated customer. Hence, the prime focus is to optimise the customer’s journey map through efficient marketing for increasing sales.

Today, there are different platforms in the market for brand’s marketing It’s a challenge to optimise all of these platforms for the business. For example, there are so many email marketing methods through CRM and other automation systems. You have to strategise your potential communication channels by understanding precisely what each use or customers is experiencing.

Without a journey map, it would be easy to miss a vital touchpoint or flow of the user journey. Sales automation journey maps allow us to consider every possibility of the sales journey without missing out on any stage.

4.   Current State Maps

The current state map is tracking the users’ daily behaviour during software interaction. It focuses on gaining valuable insights into how your design can help the customer eliminate their hurdles and reach the destination quickly. Current state maps help you analyse the customer’s thinking process, behaviour, and difficulties while exploring your product.

The current state map visualises all the possible obstacles a user might encounter in their journey and counter those issues. The aim is to provide the user with a flawless journey and solve the problems well before they notice them. This map is created to provide your users with an excellent UX to keep users happy with your product.

5.   Customer Experience Journey Maps (CX Journey Maps)

The different types of maps examine a different aspect of the customer’s experience with your software product. The customer experience journey map typically seeks to document the complete user journey. This map aims to significantly improve user experience for more happy users to convert them into loyal brand followers.

Every software has a different customer experience journey map that has different journey goals. Using this map, businesses try to document all possible customer journeys to streamline software operations. If appropriately designed, you can benefit from an optimum customer journey process.

6.   Service blueprints

Service blueprinting help organisations gain strong evidence of their business reality. It brings light on the customer as well as employee experience with service providers. This blueprint helps to eliminate

any hurdles in the business processes. It focuses on the customer, employees and service providers interact with each other.

Service blueprints make a perfect amalgamation of different essential factors for more customer-centric mapping. It helps you achieve your software goals by solving the problems efficiently to uncover minute issues and turn them into milestones.

Every User Journey map has its specific reasons and goals. Hence, it’s certainly not a one-map-fits-all scenario. You need to select the map that helps your organisation attain its goals with maximum benefits. Create a user journey that you truly need.

How to create a user journey map for your software development project?

The pre-requisite for creating a user journey map is thorough user research. You need to consider the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the user process to design the correct user journey map. Make sure you understand your customer’s pain points, behaviours and reactions to your software product. Interact with your customers to listen to their thoughts and feelings at each step of the journey. Observe their reactions to your journey process. Note this customer feedback with all details to create an impressive user journey.

Steps to create a user journey map for your software development project:

Step 1: Define the goal and scope of your map

The first step to your journey map creation is getting clarity on your goals. Determine the goal you want to achieve through this map. This goal will lead to the scope of your development project. Attain a fixed mission to cover certain parts of the journey. These fixed targets will help you stay focused throughout the mapping process.

Step 2: Profile Your Personas and collect information

Personas represent your target customer, and their details such as age, occupation, location, prefered device, etc. You have to create a user journey map collectively targetting this persona. Conduct intensive research to only reach out to your customers-base or prospects. Take constructive feedback from the users who might be interested in purchasing your products or services.

Step 3: Map the touch points

List the series of user journey goals that you want to achieve. Create an action plan with a timeline to create these steps. Make sure your process flow is moving in a continuous direction without any

breaking points. Consider all the essential steps that lead a buyer’s journey through awareness, prospects and sales perspective. Each of these steps involves many touchpoints with your software product; make sure to represent all.

Step 4: Create a strong narrative

Brainstorm with your team to better insight into user thoughts and emotions for each stage of the journey. Don’t forget to include user actions, reactions, motivations, and feelings during each step’s interaction with the product. Consider all the emotional responses, such as emotional highs and lows, while moving ahead with the software.

Step 5: Create the Visualisation

The last and most critical step is to transform your text or excel-based narrative into a visualisation of the user journey map. You will need experienced professionals to create these advanced design for your journey. You can guide your designer with a simple whiteboard design and supporting notes. The vibrant visual representations will be able to illustrate the user journey in an effective way.

What are the benefits of a user journey map?

Creating a good user journey map for your customers can bring several perks to your business. It helps you gain a much clearer understanding of how your customer uses your software product. This journey will bring your business several benefits, such as:

•       Improve features

The brainstorming of the maps brings out the latest features to provide an excellent user experience for your product.

•     Enable inbound sales

Instead of struggling to gain customers through outbound marketing technique, you get plenty of inbound customers with a good journey map.

•       Access to new target customer base

Don’t waste your time and money to target a broad segment of the audience. With user journey mapping, you focus on a small prospect customer interested in your products or services.

•     Enables Better KPI tracking

Mapping out your users’ journey allows you to keep track of important metrics that help you make better decisions. For example, if users often bounce before completing the purchase, that’s a sign of a long journey.

Understanding and implementing a good user journey across your organisation will benefit much more than increase your revenue. An efficient User journey enhances your marketing campaigns, reduce your operational costs, and accelerate your sales cycle. It will enable you to be consistent in your user interaction and satisfaction to convert your visitors into the customer base. User journey mapping will provide you with a positive customer experience and retaining customer loyalty.

Concluding remarks:

We hope this detailed guide has enlightened you with the user’s journey map. We have tried to answer all the common questions related to this section. Now, it’s your job to enhance your software product by understanding your user’s emotions and path.

With the above guide, your company can design their software more straightforward and easier for users. For more details, keep following this space!

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