A TechSpring Primer on Journey Mapping

A journey map tells the story of an experience, for example a patient, provider or customer experience. A formal definition might be: a graphic that describes the journey of a user by representing the different touchpoints that characterize his interaction with the service. (1)

It may focus on a particular part of the story (journey) or give an overview of the entire experience. A journey map takes many forms but typically appears as some type of graphic. Whatever its form, the goal is the same: to teach organizations or service units more about how customers experience them, and help generate ideas for how to improve that experience. 

  • Identify key interactions that the customer/user/patient has with the organization
  • Capture the feelings, motivations and questions for each of these touchpoints
  • Provide a sense of the customer’s expectations and what they wish to achieve with the organization 

Why Journey Maps

Plotting out a customer’s emotional landscape by way of a Customer Journey Map, or Experience Map, along their path sheds light on key opportunities for deepening those relationships. (2)

In other words, this tool helps organize and present knowledge in a simple way, which in turn, reveals problems to work on. It can also build a shared frame of reference (understanding) of the customer experience within an organization.

Example Journey Maps





Further tips

  • Start with pen and paper or on a whiteboard. Journey maps do NOT have to be pretty (at least at first). Also good idea to start with post-it notes and map the timeline from starting point to when the customer exits the relationship (or the particular part of the story you are mapping ends).
  • Empathy is key - put yourself in the customer’s shoes so you can consider their feelings, questions and needs
  • You need anecdotes of experiences, the best way is to conduct interviews with REAL customers or go observe the experience as it occurs, if possible. STOP assuming you know what patients/customer/providers are experiencing. Observe, listen, ask!
  • Speaking to front-line staff who interact with customers daily is another useful way to understand customer needs. Caution: Be careful not to adopt the perspective of the front-line staff or what you think is “possible” based on your/their understanding of operations. You must stick with the persona and maintain your empathy for the customer type you are currently mapping.
  • Use this as a shared reference point for your teams and the organization.  Think of the journey map as a poster pinned to the office wall. At a glance, people should be able to see the key touchpoints that a user passes through. It should remind them that the customer’s needs must always be at the forefront of their thinking. Hopefully, you will get ideas to simplify and improve the customer experience. 

Help is available

Contact [email protected] for pointers, tips and recommendations. Often in collaboration with other consultants and TechSpring friends in the area, we offer facilitation and workshops. 

If you put together a journey and want to make it pretty or communicate with impact, here are some local designers we recommend. They all have previous experience working for Baystate. For example, making a poster could be a good way to ensure that the user’s story remains front and center in people’s minds. 

Trudy Williams PhD - Company Crayon
[email protected]

Christine H. Mark - Blitz Factory
[email protected]

Beverly Yeager - Bee Designs
[email protected]

Note: The average cost to get a graphic that looks like the examples above is probably $300-3,000 assuming you do most of the mapping yourself. Trudy has offered free consultations for new and in-flight projects.



HELP OTHERS - once you do a Journey Map, please share it with us at [email protected]. We'd love to post Baystate examples on this page.