Best Practices for Journey Mapping


(16 ratings)


2 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Boost the impact of your journey maps with principles & best practices derived from interviews with 60+ journey mappers!

Course overview

Learn to maximize impact of your maps/mapping!

Are you frustrated with the lackluster impact of your Journey Maps? This course will help you learn what you can do differently next time to ensure your mapping efforts result in impact.

Whether you are an early or late-stage, in-house or independent UX Researcher, this course has something for you. You'll learn the 4 principles for maps with impact, plus best practices to help ensure your mapping delivers impact to your clients or colleagues. These principles and best practices are derived from over 60 interviews with people who have been involved with journey mapping as researchers, designers, and stakeholders.

This course does not focus on design. (I'm a researcher, not a designer!) I'll show you lots of examples ranging from low-polish to high-polish, low-detail to high-detailed maps...including simple templates to help you make maps yourself, without bringing in a designer! Or, to get you well prepared so you are ready to partner with a designer.

Who is this course for


Qualitative UX Researchers: in-house, vendor-side or independent


People with at least a little knowledge about journey mapping (and maybe some experience)


YOU! Quant UXRs, Market Researchers, Designers, Product Managers are welcome! But, heads up, this course is optimized for qualitative UXRs.

You'll learn the 4 principles for maps with impact, plus best practices for each

Principle #1: Journey Maps need to be Focused

A high impact journey map has a clear reason for existing: clear objectives, audience, etc. When people don't take the time to get focused, it shows. You need to be clear and aligned on what you are mapping, why you are mapping it, how it will be used, etc.

Principle #2: Maps need to be based in Data

You might put a stake in the ground with a "strawman" map based on hypothesis, but you'll be much better off basing your map on a very solid understanding of people's process, needs, pain points, etc. Use existing & bespoke qual, quant, & data analytics to inform your map.

Principle #3: Maps need to be Customized

Maps need to be tailored / customized based on their objective, their audience, etc. A micro-interaction or map for a design sprint will be very different than a map for senior leaders with the goal of impacting strategy.

Principle #4: Maps need to be well Integrated

So often maps land with a thud and fall short of their full impact because they are shipped and then abandoned. It's very important to help your team/client learn how to use the map and how to integrate it into their existing processes. e.g., for design sprints, roadmapping, etc

And one more underlying principle that underlies all of the others: Maps need to be collaborative

What's a main differentiator for maps with impact? Collaboration. The involvement of diverse team members throughout the entire process - from planning, through research, early mapping, and launch...

Course syllabus

1 live session
Expand all modules
  • Week 1

    Jan 29—Feb 4

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone


    • Jan


      Pre-work: Best Practices for Journey Mapping

      Wed, Jan 31, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM UTC

  • Week 2

    Feb 5—Feb 9

    Week dates are set to instructor's time zone

    Nothing scheduled for this week.


(16 ratings)

What students are saying

Meet your instructor

Julie Francis

Julie Francis

UX Researcher

Best practices for Journey Mapping was born from a talk that Julie and her then-client Jeanne Bard gave at UXPA. For that talk, Julie and Jeanne interviewed 30 journey mapping practitioners, to learn their advice for how to ensure journey maps are worth the time & effort they take to make. Since then, Julie has interviewed another 30-ish people. This course is based off the learned wisdom of people who have been there, done that, and learned from their successes & mistakes. Julie has taught Best Practices for Journey mapping to hundreds of person, via zoom, and once as an avatar in Virtual Reality!

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Course schedule: live instruction & hands-on activities to reinforce learning

12+ hours over one week
  • Monday

    9:00 - 11:30 PST

    Kickoff the week with an intro to Journey Mapping. After a short lecture on Principle #1: Focused, we'll look at real examples of journey maps. We'll finish the day by putting what we learned about the importance of Focus into action by creating a Journey Mapping brief.

  • Tuesday

    9:00 - 11:30 pst

    We'll begin with a lecture about Principle #2: Data-based, and discuss the types of data you can use to inform your maps. After instruction on how to gather qualitative research insights, we'll put it into practice: first conducting, then analyzing, journey-focused interviews.

  • Wednesday

    9:00 - 11:30 PST

    After a short lecture on Principle #3: Customized, we'll use the insights gathered from Day 2 to create a first draft journey maps in Mural.

  • Thursday

    9:00 - 12:00 PST

    There is no lecture on Thursday. You'll continue working in small groups or individually on your journey map, using the tool or template of your choice.

  • Friday

    9:00 - 11:30 PST

    We wrap up the week with discussion of Principle #4: Integrated, with case studies and suggestions for what you can do to "activate" a journey map in your org (or your client's org). You'll end the week poised to ensure maximum impact of your journey maps, and journey mapping.

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Principles for Journey Maps with Impact

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Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to help each other elevate their craft

Learn by doing

Via interactive live and asynchronous activities, you'll put your learning into practice

Learn from & share with your peers

In addition to learning from the 60+ interviews Julie has conducted with journey mappers, you'll have an opportunity to share your own successes, failures and lessons learned...and learn from others!

At the conclusion of the course, you'll be invited to join Julie's Best Practices for Journey Mapping slack community, to keep learning (and sharing!)

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What you’ll get out of this course

The importance of collaboration

You'll learn why collaboration is key for journey mapping (it's more about the mapping than the map), and get ideas on how you can make journey mapping more collaborative through the entire process

How to get focused via a mapping brief

You'll learn the 6 facets to cover in a mapping brief (aka, project plan), including Why, For Whom, What, Who, When, & With Whom (and you'll walk away with a template you can use for your own mapping projects!)

How to uncover users' journeys via in-depth interviews

You'll learn how to use a simple emotional trend line to capture user journeys in interviews. And you'll put it into practice in a real interview.

How to analyze data to create a journey map

You'll learn how to use affinity diagramming in a digital whiteboarding tool to organize your research insights and identify key components of a map: what the user is thinking, feeling, doing...what the user needs...what's working, what's not...etc.!

How to customize a map

You'll learn how maps are customized based on the objectives, audience, fidelity of the data, and company/team culture. And you'll walk away with templates you can use as a starting point for your own maps, plus leads on journey mapping tools!

How to activate a map

You'll learn why it's best to avoid "throwing it over the fence" and instead bringing your team along for the journey of journey mapping. You'll get workshop ideas for helping team members use the map to go from understanding users to solutions for key user needs & pain points.