Emotional Journey

How users feel at each stage of the experience
Contributed by

Jordi Olive Calderon

Angels Dimitri

Published January 17, 2022

What Is Emotional Journey?

Emotional Journey is a powerful research practice to identify and visualize how users feel at each stage of the experience while they are using a product or service.

Mapping these metrics help the team to understand, test and deliver a positive experience for the users.

The emotions of the user can be captured by dots, emojis, pictures, colours, curves or other forms and shapes that represent the level of sentiment from each moment of the journey.

The Emotional Journey is usually used asan add-on to a User Journey Map or Service Blueprint practices.

Why Do Emotional Journey?

Craft a better user experience:

  • Understand users point of view
  • Bring more humanity
  • Identify faster the gaps on the journey where to improve the experience
  • Reveal the ideal experience through the user’s eyes
  • Understand what the users feel rather than what you think they feel
  • Find new opportunities
  • Empathise with the users
  • Analyse the peaks and lows of the emotional rollercoaster

Improve business performance:

  • Ensure systems are customer focused

  • Knowledge of customers behaviours and needs

  • Drive ideation and innovation

  • Decide what should be the top priorities

  • Introduce metrics for what matters most for the customers

  • Eliminate where customer experience is most likely to fail

  • Imagine future service experience

  • Reflect customers needs and expectations while your business changes

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How to do Emotional Journey?

  1. Define what experience you want to map. User Stories and Prioritisation Matrix are useful practices that may help you to identify the user experience you want to address.
  2. Collect information from research and assumptions. It’s recommended to build a Persona or/and Empathy Map in order to visualise all the insights from the user perspective like their blockers, opportunities, needs, expectations, etc.
  3. If you identified more than one Personas then make sure you build an emotional journey for each of them because their journey and experience may be different.
  4. Start mapping the actions of the user during the journey in chronological order. It doesn’t have to be the entire journey, it may be just a part of it that you want to focus on during the experience.
  5. Use a line or curve graph to represent how the user feels during the journey.(↑Happy ↓Sad). It’s highly recommended to add a comment on what the user is feeling or thinking during the actions of the journey for a better understanding. You can add more than one comment per user action.
  6. Analyse the map and improve where it is needed based on the peaks and lows.

Notes & Observations

  • There are many different ways to build an emotional journey depending on the approach and the quality of the research.

  • You can first build the Emotional Journey and then use it to make the User Journey Map with Touchpoints, Pain points, Opportunities etc. or you can create it based on an existing Journey Map. The order of the practices doesn’t affect the final result.

  • Adding an horizontal line in the middle of the Emotional Journey will help you to see faster where the opportunity is.

  • It’s recommended to have one Emotional Journey per user. In case you’re using it for a Service Blueprint where different actors are involved then you can use the same space to represent the Emotional Journey for each of them. If this is the case, remember to use dissimilar colours to represent the different actors. (See the following example)

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  • Having the User Story/Scenario, the Persona and his/her goal near the board helps to have a clear and common understanding of what the Emotional Journey is representing.

  • Emotional Journey can be used as a metric to compare As-is with To-be or Ideal User Journey experiences

  • It can also be used as a low fidelity experience prototype to test with users.

Look at Emotional Journey

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Emotional Journey practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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