User Journey Map Kit

Company IBM Bluemix (Now IBM Cloud)

Timeline 2017

My Role UX Designer (Project Lead)

Collaborators Tracey King, Adam Waugh


As a product, the Bluemix team is comprised of over 300 Engineers, Designers, Researchers, Product Managers & VPs.


Bluemix/IBM Cloud Dashboard.

The Problem

As a large product team, many of us knew the experiences we were delivering were painful for our end-users.

But, because we’ve lacked a formalized method for capturing, tracking and sharing user pain points across the organization, many of our users problems were being overlooked or ignored.

My Task

Build empathy for Bluemix end-users by creating a methodology that captures real user pain points and usage metrics in a format that can be consumed by designers, product managers and engineers.

Personas & Stakeholders

(AKA The people using my work to drive improvements into Bluemix)


Journey Maps to the Rescue


Journey Map Examples


Creating a consistent format for building journey maps will help design teams identify, capture and share user-needs and pain points.

My Goals

Define a methodology for capturing and presenting user journey maps
Incorporate real product data and analytic tools into journey map methodology
Create reusable template so that all product teams can conduct their own journey maps.
Work with teams to prioritize highest value pain points that will deliver the most improvement to the product.

I started my research by looking at what makes a successful journey map.

Research Synthesis

From my research, I found the following patterns crucial to creating a successful journey map:


I also looked at some of the issues with traditional journey maps.


Example Journey Map from Adaptive Path.

  • Traditional journey map diagrams can be dense and difficult to decipher.
  • Traditional journey map diagrams are not easily presented.
  • Traditional journey map diagrams lack screen-by-screen visuals.
  • Quantitative data points are often left out of traditional journey maps.

Phase 1: Creating a Format

From the initial research conducted I was able to take a first pass at putting together a format for capturing user journeys.

To keep journey maps transparent, they were initially captured in table format on our internal Wiki pages.


1. User Success Criteria & Background Info


2. Summary, Highlights & Pain Points


3. Annotated Screen-by-Screen Journey Walkthrough


4. High-Level Sentiment Diagram


Initial reception was great!

Initial Reception

In a one month span:

  • Created a detailed methodology for capturing user journey maps.
  • Captured journey maps for 8 different scenarios with sponsor users.
  • Clearly identified and created issues for over 80 individual pain points.
  • In combination with Amplitude we identified the cause of a 44% user drop-off.
  • Shared findings across the Bluemix product teams.

🤗  The journey map format was a success.

I thought I was done! But...

“These are great, but I need a better way to present them.”
“These are very dense, there’s a lot to read through.”

Teams required a better format than a wiki page for presenting journey maps.

Phase 2: Template Kit


I adapted the journey map format into a set of Keynote template slides to be used internally by design teams. The template slides are highly visual with a focus on telling the story of a specific user journey.

The journey map kit is comprised of 4 base template slides.

1. Journey Title Slide


2. Journey Overview Slide


3. Detailed Walkthrough Slides


4. Biggest Problems Slide


Final Results

Since the inception of the template kit:

  • All Bluemix product design teams are now required to create journey maps for each aspect of the experiences they own.
  • Product teams have created and shared more than 40 different journey maps for various platform experiences.
  • Over 400 unique pain points have been captured and prioritized by design and development.
  • IBM Design is working to adopt the methodology and template kit into their design thinking curriculum,