Journey Map

Journey Map

Journey mapping helps you understand, record and share the experience of a person using your service.

It is a powerful tool to visualise complex journeys and is key to understanding user's needs, emotions, challenges and opportunities.

Why use a journey map?

Understanding your user’s 'journey' through your service helps: 

  1. Structure conversations with your users - the map tool itself provides a guide 
  2. Show your service as your users experience it, demonstrates their agenda and the challenges they face in achieving what they need from you. 
  3. Avoid pre judging what you should be exploring - helps you find problems and opportunities that are important in the day to day experience of your user.  
  4. Show the challenges or opportunities in context of the whole experience, you can see implications of any changes you might make on the full user journey. Helps you focus on the right changes at the right points. 
  5. Uncover frustration and work arounds ready to be resolved while pointing to things that work well and should be supported. A journey can also highlight opportunities to improve or change things for the better. 
  6. Collect suggestions for improvement from your users. 


Journey Map package

This reusable package has a series of Journey Map Templates that can be used across NHS Scotland to visualise user's journeys within or across services.

When to use a journey map


Before the interview:

  • Create a Conversation Guide to help you lead the interview
  • Print the Conversation Guide
  • Print the Event Cards

During the interview:

  • Use the Event Cards to help you capture data

As it is often difficult for people with lived experience to remember when some things have happened, you can cut the Event Cards sheets so participants can move things around

  • Take verbatim notes and quotes

After the interview:

  • Organise your Event Cards and take a photo to capture their order
  • Choose one of the journey map templates in the package - Reflect on the themes that came out in the interview and what information you want to highlight
  • Create your journey map


Download event cards


How to use this tool

There are many ways to approach journey mapping and to visualise a user's journey. 

It is important to take a moment to think about the purpose of your journey map and what information you'd like to highlight.

Template A

Highlights a sequence of events, feelings and challenges.

Template B

Highlights opportunities resulting from challenges.

Template C

Highlights internal processes, policies and data.

Download template A Download template B Download template C


Example from practice

Isobel's journey with Mental Health and Substance Use services

The Mental Health Substance Use team has conducted interviews with people with lived experience to understand their biggest challenges and concerns when engaging with services in different pathfinder sites. After the interviews, the team visualised the participant's journey using the journey map templates, which highlights the different people and organisations one of the participants - Isobel - has engaged with.


Find out more
Last Updated: 13 December 2023