Customer journey mapping

Chart the journey of your users.

Decorative only

Stepping into the shoes of a user

Customer journey mapping (CJM) helps to uncover specific opportunities or challenges faced by users engaging with a product or service by granularly exploring their journey. 

CJM itself is a rich subject of investigation and great tool for building understanding of experience and process flaws. The tool on this page is a streamlined approach to mapping out individual customer steps.

This exercise should be completed through the lens of a clear persona or personas. Consider completing the Persona Creation tool as a useful precursor. 

There are two types of customer journey mapping: Retrospective or prospective.

Retrospective is more common and examines what a user’s journey currently is. Prospective is used to create an ideal future state.

The worksheet suggests mapping seven key steps. This number is effective when time is limited (eg; in a workshop situation) and provides a nice medium amount of detail. However, there could be dozens of steps depending on the complexity of their journey and the depth of insights you wish to gain.


  • First, brainstorm the user's journey in detail on post-it notes: One post-it per step. Post-its are an important tool as they allow you to move and reorder each step as needed.
  • Cull the brainstormed journey down into seven "key steps" (steps may need to be rewritten or reworded)
  • It is recommended that the canvas is replicated “in large” on a white board, or by using masking tape on a wall. Alternatively, an A3 or A2 printout can also suffice. 
  • Stick the seven steps across the top of the columns of the canvas.
  • Populate the rows "actions, questions, happy moments, and pain points" with post-its for each step. “Actions” are the things the user does, “Questions” the questions they have, “happy moments” are positive experiences, and “pain points” are challenges and negative experiences. Cells may be populated lineally or randomly. Similarly, some cells may be heavily populated with notes, other sparsely.
  • Once these cells are satisfactorily completed, you can then populate the bottom row “Opportunities”: Things about the journey that can be changed or altered to make their journey frictionless and a joy. NB:  Opportunities may arise in response to data from a different column (eg; there may be a pain point in step 6, that could be remedied in step 1.)
  • The opportunities row creates a “to do” list of actions. 

Click here to download an A3 PDF version of the canvas.

Customer Journey Mapping Canvas