User Journeys

In response to Chris Mears’ article on theuxreview.com

The whole user experience field is all very new and interesting to me. Prior to this semester, I hadn’t even been aware of its existence. However, I knew after the very first person to come and talk about it that UX is what I wanted to do. Because I am new to this field, I have been making attempts to further my understanding of what exactly UX entails and what I can do to better prepare for a job in the field.

User Journeys is a term that I keep running into, and I have been thrown for a loop as to what exactly this is. It has been rather convoluted having only what guest speakers have said to go off of. I did a little bit of research and found Chris Mears’ article about user journeys and it is much more clear to me. From my admittedly limited understanding, user journeys are a visual representation of how users will interact with some sort of interface. Through creating a visual diagram of what users may encounter it is easier to understand where along the journey different problems may arise. By tracking how these users may be feeling, what they may be doing, and even where they may be, a user experience designer can create an experience that is better for the user, which in turn is better for the business.

After familiarizing myself with what user journeys actually are, I began to take note on more specific details like when and how to do them. Having never actually done one I cannot be certain, but I will hypothesize that these will be a speed bump for me because they are usually done in the beginning of the design process. I know how I operate, and unfortunately I am more of the dive right in kind of guy, so anything that comes prior to actually making things will often be over looked. That being said, Chris also mentions that creating user journeys is only bound by your imagination. This gives me a little hope that I may end up enjoying creating these because of the wide range of creative possibilities.

I also found it interesting that user journeys do not only track the steps a user may encounter along his/her path to the end goal. These journeys should also include how the user is most likely feeling, pivotal moments along the way, and potential snags in the process. All of these elements require a firm understanding of the user him/herself, which brings personas into the question. But I’ll save personas for another occasion…

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