User Experience Mapping Methods – A Study Guide for All

Let’s start with – What is User Experience Mapping?

UX maps help you visualize how the end-user will experience your digital product, be it an app or website. A UX map is a tool for UX designers to understand customer motivations, hesitations, needs, and concerns.

Most businesses bank on the data gathering to know about their users. They have KPI trackers in place. That said, data alone miserably fails to communicate the user experiences and expectations. A storytelling tool like a user experience map is the best bet here. 

UX mapping uses visuals and storytelling to illustrate the user-brand relationship. The story is told from the customer’s perspective. It helps brands understand and address the pain points and needs of the target audience.

User journey maps show businesses how customers engage at various sales process touchpoints. This also gives the chance to determine the points of friction and rectify them. UX mapping narrows the gap between the customer needs and the product. 

To put things in perspective, let’s take a company as an example. The company is launching a website. They want the website to be easy to use and appealing to their users. What are their options? How should they get going? Knowing the users and how they are going to interact with the brand is the key here. And, creating a UX map will help with the same. UX user maps are a point of start. This includes a range of mapping processes. 

UX mapping provides insight into:

  • How is the interface being used?
  • Is the UX  appealing to the end-users? 
  • What are the results being derived? 
  • How is the user behavior being addressed?   
  • How to deliver information to the user? 

Therefore, a UX map is critical to designing a digital product. An effective UX map has the following functions/impacts:

  • Improve the information delivery to customers and users
  • Making the user experience pleasant and intuitive
  • Effective connection with users and customers
  • Building a bigger user base
  • Develop a better ROI
  • Enhancing the brand reputation and market visibility

Reasons to use UX mapping

User experience mapping aims to improve customer experience quality. 84% of companies have claimed that enhancing customer experiences boosted their revenue. There are straightforward reasons to utilize the UX mapping technique  –

  • One gets a bird’s eye view of the entire journey of customers
  • Specific hurdles faced by customers can be identified and resolved
  • Knowing where additional developments are required and simplifying customer journey paths
  • Customer retention rate increases 
  • Higher and faster customer conversion rates 
  • Minimizing negative user experiences
  • The revelation of the gaps between departments and channels
  • Better brand reputation, greater market visibility, and a smooth and enjoyable customer journey

Let’s Know Each UX Mapping Method – yes there are several UX mapping methods 

1. User Journey Mapping

The user journey map is useful when a customer has a specific need that the company product or service is addressing. A UX journey map is a detailed representation of how a customer will search for information on the app or website. 

A UX map focuses on the customer’s aim and makes it effective and easy for the product to meet the user’s goal. Moreover, the UX journey map considers the thoughts and feelings of the user. It utilizes a linear process and maps out how a single customer interacts with an application or website. The user journey map is broken down into four “swim lanes:”

  • Phases
  • Actions
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions and Mindset

The customer is at the center of the design process in each of the lanes. Each one is meant to address the overall experience. Service- and product-centered businesses will find UX journey maps useful. A journey map will help identify customer needs by breaking down bottlenecks during the interaction.

2. Empathy Mapping

A user empathy map is the deepest dive into the mindset of the user and helps build a thorough understanding of their thought process. There are four stages to this – 

  • Thinks
  • Says
  • Feels
  • Does

What are they thinking? Saying? Feeling? And doing? 

This map is not linear or sequential like the journey map. It is considered to be a useful mapping technique to understand users better and build rapport and empathy with customers. The empathy map attempts to externalize their internal experience. The whole experience is tied to the externalized experience of the user from the above four perspectives: thinks, says, feels, and does.

3. Experience Mapping

For designing a product, it is useful to build an overview of general human behavior. This comes in handy in a scenario where there is no defined target audience. 

The experience map visualizes an end-to-end journey from a generic user’s perspective. In the experience mapping, the user is not from a specific target audience. They are not interested in a specific service or company product either. 

The experience map is also divided into four key areas:

  • Phases
  • Actions
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings and Mindset

The experience map is among the most useful technique to build a picture of general user behavior.

4. Service Blueprinting

At times, one kind of UX map isn’t enough. Two UX maps can be combined to visualize the multiple interactions. For example, the user journey map is effective in visualizing the point of the user, but it does not provide insight on happenings on the business side. In such situations the service blueprint map is handy.

A customer journey mapping focuses on the user whereas a service blueprint map is all about the company. Companies offering multiple services and products need a way to visualize the way their departments and employees interact with customers. 

Like other mapping processes, the service blueprint is also divided into four key areas, referred to as “swim lanes:”

  • Customer Actions
  • Backstage Actions
  • Frontstage Actions
  • Support processes

This mapping technique is useful for large companies in identifying areas of weaknesses. It offers useful insights to improve both processes and interfaces. Benefits both users and employees.

Closing Thoughts

UX mapping assists businesses, individuals, and organizations in improving their relationships on the digital landscape by providing customers with a fantastic user experience. User experience maps help organizations visualize the end-to-end product experience, thereby, giving them a baseline understanding of an experience before taking the particular product or service into consideration


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