What is a website user journey map and how do I create one?

On the agenda for this article:

Without a proper website user journey map, it can be difficult to meaningfully engage users at every stage of their journey. In this article, we'll look at what exactly a website user journey map is, and how to build one in six steps.

  • A user journey map visualizes all the steps a given user takes to achieve a particular goal using your product.
  • The difference between a user journey map and a customer journey is that the first is essentially about the steps users take to become customers. While the second concerns all interactions between customers and your product after purchase.
  • A user journey map shows how a particular user interacts with your product. While a user flow reflects the ideal user journey in the eyes of a product team.
  • While a user journey map reflects part of a particular user's experience, a user experience journey map reflects all segments and interactions between a user and your product.
  • A user journey map helps you turn users into customers and retain them.
  • To create a user journey map, you need to follow six steps: set a goal, define a user persona, define the user persona journey, identify milestones, populate touchpoints, and use a user journey mapping tool. course.
  • Users interact differently with your product. So you need to create a user persona, then a specific user journey for that persona.
  • Define the steps you will include in a user journey map based on the objective defined previously.
  • Identify milestones (key points) in the user journey, which will help you know where a particular user is in their journey.
  • Touchpoints are small events that must happen for a user to reach a milestone. For example, you can create a welcome checklist from these points.

What is a website user journey map?

A user journey encompasses all the steps a particular user takes to achieve a particular goal when using your product. Typically presented in the form of a visual map, it takes into account all phases of product adoption in your funnel.

Depending on the goal you have when creating a user journey map, it can focus on the following points:

  • A current state or future state perspective
  • Only one step of the course or from start to finish
  • Better understand the user persona

But before you roll up your sleeves, you need to decide what you're actually trying to do. If you Google related terms, you may find terms like customer journey map and user flow used synonymously. It's really misleading.

Why ? Consider the difference between a customer and a user in the SaaS industry:

  • A customer is someone who is looking to spend money on your product or who has purchased something in the past (a customer group includes: prospects, leads, MQLs, SQLs, etc.)
  • A user is someone who starts using your product without spending any money (users sign up for a trial, create freemium accounts, start interacting with your SaaS product).

User journey map and customer journey map

Let's start by getting a good understanding of the concept of user journey before moving on to mapping and models.

First of all, a user journey is similar to a customer journey.

It consists of the steps a user takes, the touchpoints with your product, and how they feel when trying to achieve a particular goal in your product.

However, there is a major difference.

The customer journey includes all interactions between customers and your business after purchase. It is a very personalized journey that involves different departments of the company, from customer service to sales.

On the other hand, the user journey is normally not very personalized. Its main goal is to convert users into customers, so most interactions happen within the product itself.

If you want to visualize your user journey, you need to create a user journey map. It will help you determine the most common issues that users encounter throughout their journey and possible solutions.

User journey map and user flow

Contrary to what you can find on the internet, user journey maps are not the same as user flows. While the user journey map shows how users interact with your product, the user flow shows what the ideal user journey should look like according to a product team.

User journey map and user experience mapping

Remember that user journey maps and user experience journey maps are not the same.

The difference is that a user journey map can refer to a segment of the user's experience, while a user experience journey map includes every interaction between users and your product.

Benefits of using a website user journey map

Imagine you are lost in the forest, but you have a detailed map that will help you get out of the woods. Now what do you do?

A) Refer to the map?


B) …discard this card?

We don't think you'll choose B.

Logical, right?

But we see option B chosen in the software industry, again and again.

Companies search for product-market fit in the jungle of similar solutions, until they find it.

Of course, without a map.

Your users should be able to instantly recognize the value of your product. This is what will turn them into customers.

The next thing you need to do is continue to provide positive experiences because this keeps users loyal to your product. This will help you acquire new customers and increase business revenue.

You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Understand how the user interacts with the product.
  2. Personalize onboarding for each user persona.
  3. Activate users faster. By knowing what the activation point is, you can build in-app experiences like checklists and tooltips to guide users and help them see the value of your product more quickly.

But before taking these steps, you need to know the journey of your users. And to do that, you need to visualize it by creating a user journey map.

How to create a user journey map?

Step 1: Define a goal for your user journey map

Start by asking yourself: why am I creating this map?

The reasons can be different:

  • To improve the specific stage of the user journey
  • To eliminate friction on any of the contact points
  • To improve the conversion rate of your RQP (Responsible for product qualification) as a paying user.

In other words, what is the big goal you are trying to achieve?

You can zoom in or out on your map as much as you want.

If you don't set a specific goal, your user journey map won't be precise enough and won't give you the results you want.

Step 2: Who is your user persona?

User Persona Example Template

What is a website user journey map and how do I create one? - image GeekWorkers - 1
What is a website user journey map and how do I create one? 1

Before you start creating a user journey map, you need to know who you are creating this map for.

In SaaS, the final appearance of the map will depend on the task at hand and the use case. These cards will look different from each other because users will interact with your projects differently.

Basically, you need to remember these things when creating a user persona:

  1. Preferably use real data (observed and researched) if you can, and not guesses or hypotheses.
  2. When creating a user persona, ask simple questions of real users. This way, you won't incorporate your own biases when creating a persona.
  3. Focus on open-ended questions that don't suggest answers or influence users.
  4. If you're just starting out, educated guesses are fine if you don't rely solely on them. Nevertheless, you should start collecting real data as soon as possible.

Step 3: Define the stages of the website user persona journey you want to map

The goal you set in step 1 will determine which steps you need to include in your map.

For example, if you only focus on optimizing secondary and tertiary user onboarding, your map will only include these steps.

Remember to be specific and only focus on the steps that will impact your goal.

Step 4: Identify the stages of the website user journey

Milestones are key points in the user journey, typically found at the end of each stage. They are an essential part of creating a user journey map.

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What is a website user journey map and how do I create one? 2

For instance :

Milestones help you define a user's journey and know where they are at any given time.

You can use milestones to track the progress of a user's journey. You should also set a specific goal for each step. By using user journey analytics, you will be able to track the completion rate of each objective and know how your users are progressing in their journey.

Example of a milestone: The activation point in a user's journey, which occurs when the user completes a set of actions in your product.

Step 5: Fill in the Blanks of Your User Journey with Touchpoints

If milestones are key points in a user's journey, touchpoints are the small events that must happen for a user to reach a milestone.

Let me give you an example: the main onboarding steps the user needs to go through to reach the activation point. If we talk about a social media scheduling platform, a user has to go through the following touchpoints to reach a milestone:

  1. Create an account
  2. Connect social media accounts
  3. Schedule the first messages

These touchpoints are essential for the user to activate – which is why they are often called “key activation points”.

To encourage users to activate (which is essential for them to continue using your product!), for example, you can create an onboarding checklist that will encourage them to reach these key touchpoints more quickly .

Step 6: Build the Course Using a Course Mapping Tool

First, add images with what the user sees at each touchpoint.

Second, try to identify possible friction points and obstacles.

Third, use product analytics and session recordings.

Finally, you will need a tool course mapping. Most (if not all) of them offer pre-made user journey templates, which makes the process of creating these maps much easier. You can then complete them with qualitative or quantitative studies.

User journey mapping tools

Here is our shortlist:


The principal objective by UXPressia is to improve the customer experience. There you will find many ready-made templates, such as user journey maps for customers or even templates for onboarding new team members.


Miro is one of the most popular tools on the market. You can start using it by choosing one of its templates, including User Journey Maps or Kanban Boards. The company places a strong emphasis on product training and helping customers get started as quickly as possible.

concept board

concept board is a tool dedicated to remote teams who can use it as an online whiteboard. Thanks to Conceptobard, teams can collaborate regardless of location.


Smaply helps you spot pain points and moments of truth in the user journey. You can use it to map your user base and identify user personas and team influencers, regardless of the stage of the journey.


As stated on the website, FlowMapp offers UX tools for web design. You can use it to create different types of flow maps, including user journey maps.


Creating a user journey map can help you identify user pain points throughout their journey and ultimately help you increase conversions and retention.

In summary, you can use:

  • Interviews with real users
  • Data analytics
  • Session recordings

Then follow our six steps to create user journey maps.

Start by defining the goal of a particular user journey. Next, create a user persona for this journey. The next step is to define the stages of this persona's journey.

Next, identify the steps in that user journey, and then the touchpoints needed to reach those steps. Finally, from all the collected data, information, and images, switch to a user journey mapping tool and create a user journey map.

Using user journey mapping tools can be a big help, especially if you're just starting out. Most of them offer ready-made templates that you can use and supplement with your own qualitative and quantitative research.

Geekworkers digital experts can also help you optimize your website with a in-depth user experience analysis.

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