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Service Design Framework

Practices and tools for delivering optimal user experience journeys.


Customer journey mapping

Visualize how a customer interacts with a service to get a holistic view of their experience. This provides a better understanding of the customer and highlights opportunities for improvements.


Customer journey map Mural

Who’s involved

The research team and any other team members or stakeholders who can provide insights


After you’ve gathered and done an initial synthesis of data; plan to spend about one hour

How to use this method

The journey map represents a simplified version of a typical or interesting customer’s interaction with a service. It includes what happens at each stage of a service, the different touchpoints where they come into contact with a service, and what obstacles or pain points they face. It can also include other layers, such as a customer’s emotional journey through the interactions. With your team and the template provided, follow these steps:

1. Set the stage

Determine which part of your service or system you’ll focus on. It could be the whole thing, end to end, or a piece of the service. Think about the time scale, too. If you’re looking at the journey of getting a car, for example, you could start at the research phase and end at the drive home, or you could focus on just the test drive experience.

2. Decide on phases

Once you decide where to focus, start with the stages that the customer goes through during the course of interacting with a service. Keep these high level and from the point of view of the customer you’re focusing on. For the test drive example, this might be “deciding on a car,” “inspecting a car,” “driving,” and “reflecting on the drive.”

3. Break down steps

Break down and document the more detailed steps the customer takes at each phase. This can include any distinct activity in the process, such as a conversation, a decision reached, a digital tool used, and more. In the test drive example, you might include “adjusting the controls” as a step under the “driving phase.”

4. Plot feelings

Track the customer’s emotions at each step on a spectrum from negative to positive. Add some details about what they’re feeling. In the test drive example, the customer might feel uncertainty about how the car handles when reflecting on the drive.

5. Document pain points

Add the issues your customer faces along the way that negatively impact their experience. For the test drive example, a pain point might be, “The customer isn’t allowed to drive on the highway.”

6. Add opportunities

Document the areas, features, or ways you can improve the experience. These might be the first iteration of solution ideas that you’ll continue to iterate on.

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