The 5 best things about user journey

The website user journey is the path a visitor takes through your website. Analysing how users interact with your website will help you to understand what is important to your visitors and potentially how they react to language, visuals, layouts and content.

The 5 best things about user journey:

Understanding user behaviour – Working out how users are going to interact with your website and what they might expect from it will enable you to adapt to meet their expectations.

Discovering new opportunities – If you currently have a website, use analytics to look at current visitor behaviour. This may uncover new opportunities for you to communicate your brand message or produce leads. For example, if visitors are heading to case studies, are you exploiting these pages to convert to a lead?

Identifying tasks – The way users want to interact with your website may mean additional tasks for you and your colleagues. For example, your users may prefer to make a telephone enquiry, which may mean you should increase your job role functions to encompass answering telephone enquiries.

Demonstrating the vision for the project – If you have colleagues who need convincing about a new project or updates to your website, mapping out the user journey can help communicate what you are trying to achieve. Use a flow diagram to help with this process.

Highlighting pain points – To show the current state of affairs on your website, mapping the user journey can help highlight the pain points (where do you see drop- off?), which means you can identify future solutions to solve these.

How do I start mapping the user journey of my website?

To start mapping out the user journey you first need to profile your users. This should be based on your customer personas and (if you have an existing website) your analytics. When you have discovered who your users are, you can then map out the user journey step by step.

Profile your user

Using your customer personas, you can profile your website user by asking questions such as:

  • What are the user’s goals?
  • What tasks are users trying to achieve?
  • What motivated them to visit your website?
  • What motivates to continue interacting with your website?
  • If you currently have a website, what are the current pain points for the user?

If you aren’t sure how to create a customer persona, we can help you with that, click here.

Identify the journey

If you have an existing website you can use the statistics and behaviour flow to see how the user interacts with the website. You can identify points in your website that are causing users to leave, or see if users are going to areas of your website that you did not expect.

If you don’t already have a website and are starting a new project, get a team together to generate ideas and empathise with the user. To do this, be prepared with examples of any non-website interactions, behaviours and opinions. These might include:

  • Survey results
  • Testimonials
  • Customer interviews
  • Customer logs

What to consider at each step of the user journey

Once you have identified each step of the journey, you can uncover pain points for both the user and the business. This will enable you to answer questions such as:

  • What’s causing users to leave?
  • Why are users going to unexpected areas of the website?
  • Are you directing users effectively to their end goals?

At each step you should consider the following so you can address any challenges in the journey:

The context – where is the user and why did they go to your website? What external factors could be distracting them?

Journey progression – How does each section or step of your website move the user onto the next section or step? Is this done successfully? Is anything stopping them and making them exit the site?

Devices used – what device are they using? Are there any features of the device you could utilise? Is the user an expert or novice?

The website functionality – What kind of functionality is the user expecting from your website and is it achievable?

User emotions – What is the user’s emotional state? Are they getting bored or annoyed because they cannot find the page they are looking for?

Collate the information

There are many ways to display your findings; you may use a flow chart, or you could use boxes divided into sections or actions. If you Google “website user journey maps” you will find a huge array of styles.

Whether you are designing a new website, or you need to make your existing website work harder, user journeys are critical because they highlight current issues and help you to balance business objectives with user goals. If you need help in the strategic planning of your website, then give us a call on 01536 560 435 to set up a Discovery Session.