What Is the User Journey?

The user journey describes the pathway a user takes during their interactions with a product, brand, or service.

The nature of that experience will vary depending on the product in question. However, most user journeys follow a similar pattern.

They consist of several stages with a beginning, middle, and end.

Journeys that encompass a marketing funnel, for instance, would begin with the user’s first touchpoint on that funnel, such as an ad, blog post, or organic post on social media.

A product development team mapping a user’s interaction with a product, on the other hand, might begin with the user’s first touchpoint with the product itself.

For example, a user journey for a resume creation app could include:

  • The user creates a free trial account
  • User engages with in-app tutorials
  • Creation of first trial resume
  • User signs up for paid account
  • User creates first premium resume

User journeys can be long or short, depending on the nature of the product. Other possible stages could include user research, onboarding, upsells, and other post-purchase pathways.

Businesses that strive to optimize the user journey often see a number of benefits:

  • They can better understand the minds of their customers and users
  • It is easier to improve weak points along the journey
  • Companies can build products that are more in-tune with customer needs

To better understand the user journey, many companies implement user journey maps.

These are visual diagrams that outline the journey in a linear form. They make it easier for businesses to understand the user’s perspective, pain points, obstacles, and motivations.

Regardless of the nature of a business, understanding the concept of the user journey can be useful and profitable.

Optimizing the user journey and the user experience can improve customer relationships, increase customer value, and boost the bottom line.

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