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My beginner’s guide is designed to help businesses who are just starting to learn about user experiences, or if you would simply like to brush up on the basics.

So let’s begin at the beginning. 

A long time ago in a far off internet space the website was born where businesses put together a story of their company’s beginnings and what they were selling.  The business owner’s pondered over the ultimate question ‘what’s in it for me?’ when they should have been asking ‘what’s in it for my customer?’.

What is a User Journey?

A user journey is a series of steps which represent a scenario in which a user might interact with the project you are designing. They can be used for 2 main things;

Demonstrating the way user currently interact with the service / website / product

Demonstrating the way users could interact with the service / website / product 

Why should I use a User Journey?

There are many benefits to investing time into the user experience. User journeys are a fantastic way to communicate what you are looking to achieve, both internal for example the key stakeholders within your business and the end user ‘your customer’, demonstrating your vision and understanding of the project in hand. Key things to consider are:-

Behaviour - By adapting this approach you will be able to understand user behaviour – User journeys can help you work out how users are going to interact with for example your website and what they can expect from it. 

Functionality - By understanding the key tasks your end users want to achieve, you can start to understand what sort of functional requirements will help enable those tasks.

Taxonomy & Interface – By understanding the ‘flow’ of the various tasks the user will want to undertake you can start to think about what sort of taxonomy can help support those tasks and what kind of interface the user will be needing to accomplish them. 

When do I create a user journey?

The user journey typically comes towards the beginning of a project in the discovery or the requirement gathering phase. This is both to visualise the user requirements and help feed into other design activities such as information architecture or wire-framing. However, they can also be used further down the line when scoping out pieces of functionality in more details.

How do I create a User Journey?

Before attempting a user journey you should understand the following:

Your user’s goals

Their motivations

Their current pain points

The overall character 

The main tasks they want to achieve

What should a user journey contain?

The main thing a user journey should contain is a series of steps. It is up to you to decide how you may need to best represent this. The general rule of thought is no more than 3 steps. 

You will want to think broadly in each step about things such as:-

Content – is it compelling, informative and intuitive? 

Progression – How does each step enable the user to get to the next step?

Devices – What devices are they using – desktop, mobile, tablets etc. What features does the device need to have?

Functionality – What type of functionality are they expecting and is it achievable? For example if a large portion of your website visitors use their mobile devices, your site will need to be responsive.

Emotion – What is their emotional state in each step? Are they engaged, bored, frustrated?

If the purpose of your user journey is to showcase current products/services, then make sure to highlight them and any changes, the information you provide must be current and up to date. 

What should a user journey look like?

There is no set template, each project is individual and dependent on your audience. For example, if you are creating a website for a retail outlet, you will need to provide images of the product, descriptions and filters (for example if its women’s clothing; size, colour, garment) allowing your users to find what they’re looking for as quick as possible.

What next? 

You should now understand about your users and what they are trying to achieve. You should also know about how they want to go about achieving it. User journeys feed into a number of activities including; Information, architecture and sitemaps, wire-framing and functional speciations. All these factors make for a great user experience. 

If you would like to know more please get in touch with Nudge who will help you work out how users are going to interact with your business.

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