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Journey Mapping Smaply

Video tutorial: how to create a journey map

4. October 2018

Video tutorial: how to create a journey map

In this video you learn more about  journey mapping in general as well as about digital journey mapping.

In a journey mapping process teams need to…

  • decide about the scope of the journey map
  • choose a persona to focus on
  • think of the single steps your persona takes
  • decide about lanes to illustrate more details

After working with pen and paper, way too often the results are forgotten or simply neglected because it is to difficult to visualize them without having a designer working on it for a week, where no changes can be made afterwards.

A digital journey mapping tool increases the ease of use and flexibility of the journey map: changes can be made at anytime and by everyone (even when working remote), teams can collaborate in a digital environment and have presentable exports within few minutes.

This video guide through this process and how to avoid getting stuck in implementation.

Want to create your own digital journey maps? Make use of Smaply’s 14-day free trial and map the experiences of your own customers, users or citizens!

Get your customer journey map cheat sheet to put on your desk as a reminder.


It’s always good to start with a pen and paper workshop. If you can, include your customers or multiple departments in these workshops. If you like, we have workshop templates for journey maps on our website for free. 

So, here are the steps to follow when building out a basic journey map. 

First, choose a scope. Journey maps can have various scales and scopes from a high level map showing an end to end experience to a more detailed map focusing on one step of a higher level journey to very detailed step by step descriptions of microinteractions. 

For example, let’s take the case of a mortgage loan. A journey map for a mortgage loan experience could show 30 years of experience including everything from searching for a house, signing contracts, living in the house and making loan payments until the loan is paid off. Or another journey map can zoom in to only one of these steps to illustrate only the experience of searching and comparing mortgage loans. Another journey map can zoom in even further and illustrate a one hour consultation. 

First decide how far you want to zoom in or out of the experience. Then choose a persona. You have to choose a main actor for your journey. A journey map always focuses on the experience of one main actor such as a group of customers or employees. Some journey maps also combine various perspectives into one map, for example comparing different customer groups or comparing customer experiences with those of employees. At any rate, to get started, choose a persona, that you want to follow. 

Third, steps. A step is any experience the main actor has. Such as the interaction with another person, a machine or a digital interface. But steps can also be activities such as walking or waiting. The level of detail of each step depends on the overall scale of the journey map. As a little hint, to get started with steps, decide what is the crucial part of the experience and then ask yourself what happens before this and what happens after. This will help you get going in building out each step. 

Fourth, lanes. You can add more lanes to your journey map to show or analyze different parts of the experience. For example you can add a row of images below each step to show visually what is happening. This kind of lane is with images called a storyboard. Or you can expand on each step with more text descriptions. We call this a text lane. If you’d like to look at the emotional journey of the experiences you can add an emotional journey as well. Or if you want to start to create a list of ideas or jobs to be done for your organization, you could also do this with a text lane. Check out our cheat sheet on the different types of lanes you can add to your journey map. Of course lanes can always be customized to the type of project you’re working on. 

Fifth, save and edit. Smaply can help you to quickly transfer the journey map that you created during a workshop with pen and paper into a polished PDF or PPP.

Isabel helps us manage our online channels and provide our users with helpful learning materials and updates. She loves learning new things, good food and snowboarding.