What are the key features of an effective user experience map?

A user experience map tells the story of the user’s journey from researching stage, throughout the process of engagement and into a long-term user, which is use to understand more about what the user is doing, thinking and feeling, so that designer can create and come up with a better product to fulfill one’s needs.

The forms of map can be in many ways, but it usually appears as some type of infographic.

So what makes an effective user experience map?

The map should separate into different aspect, including Lens, Journey Model, Qualitative Insights, Quantitative Information and Takeaways.

Lens: an overriding filter through which we view the journey or the summery of the persona.

The Journey Map: is the most important dimensions which could be the transition from phase to phase, or the switching between different channels, showing the activities done by user.

Qualitative Insight: using a framework of “doing, thinking and feeling”, which is important aspect for us to understand the importance and value of a particular touchpoint for users.

Quantitative Information: this is use to emphasize certain parts of the journey, particularly from a survey, it might be about touchpoint themselves.

Takeaways: it is not a conclusion but illuminating the map to help identifying the opportunities, pain points and calls to action.

Apart from the content, a user experience map should be simple and easy to read.

Let’s take a look at a user experience map created by LEGO, which is presented in a way called “experience wheel”. In the central part of the wheel, it provided the persona’s characteristics, the wheel is divided into three phrase of experiences, outside the wheel, we can find descriptions of every step the persona took for the journey. However, this map focused more on quantitative information than qualitative information.

Photo via Uxeria Blog

For the second map, it is used to analyze a potential gamer, which provided more details of the persona, including background information and his habit or motivation. What is more, we can define the three phrase very clearly, with the information of what the persona thinks, does and feels.

Photo via Uxeria Blog


There are many different ways to generate a user experience map, however, it is of vital importance to include those five components mentioned into the map.

The anatomy of an experience map:http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map/