Using user journeys to plan your website


Happy Monday, everyone! In this Monkey Monday vlog, Matt and Chris are talking about user journeys – what they are and how they can help you plan your new website.

Here’s the overview:

  • What are user journeys? (00:16)
  • Why are they important? (00:42)
  • How do you use them to plan a website? (02:12)

Free stuff!

Download our free guide on user journey planning, which includes a template for you to map out your own user journeys.

Rusty Monkey – It’s all about the journey

As always, if you have any questions or comments, just stick them below and we’ll try and address them in a future vlog.

Hit subscribe for more inspiring content from the Rusty Monkey team, and leave a comment with your ideas of subjects you’d like us to tackle next.

Finally, check out our very own video page for information on how we can help you make cool vlogs and other video content.

Happy viewing!

Video transcript

Matt: Hello, I’m Matt.

Chris: I’m Chris.

Matt: And today we’re talking about user journeys.

Chris: And planning your website.

What are user journeys?

  • The journey each user takes when they visit your site
  • A list of actions or events that take the user to their objective

Chris: So, what is a user journey? It’s the journey each user takes when they visit your site.

Matt: Yeah, so we like to use user journeys to determine who would be interacting with your website – or any other digital piece of media you might have. Where do they start? What are their aims and objectives? And where do they get to?

Why are they important?

  • Get the site you want
  • Save time and money
  • Make your customers happy

Matt: So why? Why bother?

Chris: You’re more likely to get the site you want.

Matt: True. We’ve found that the sites that work the best, that convert the best, are those where everybody’s spent some time looking at those user journeys – as opposed to just turning up with a pre-defined site map of how they think things should be in their head. So you can have the site map, but we’re a big advocate of justifying that site map through user journeys.

Chris: And it’s going to save you time and money.

Matt: Again, in our experience, doing those user journeys and then building that into a user experience – showing how those user journeys work – before anybody’s done any difficult coding or anything, is a great opportunity to go through that journey together, and make sure it’s right from the outset. So you can get everything right at the start, rather than getting the website built and then trying to adapt it down the line to fill all these use cases that start appearing.

Chris: So if you’ve thought about a particular user, then you’re going to make them happy, because you’re going to be reacting to their needs.

Matt: Exactly. So if you understand those user journeys really well, and then you can test your final website against those user journeys, you’re almost role-playing your customers, and you’ll get to understand how happy they’re going to be with the service you’re offering.

How do you use them to plan a website?

  • Make a list of users and order them by importance
  • Define each user’s objective
  • List the features needed to achieve that objective

Chris: Alright, I’m sold on user journeys. So how do we do it?

Matt: Okay, well, it’s not that difficult. People kind of get a bit scared by them, but they’re pretty simple things really. You can put them in a spreadsheet, a document, however you want to do it.

Chris: So we just start with a list of all the different users. How can that look?

Matt: Okay, you can do a sheet per user – it depends how complex your site build is going to be as well. It might be something that’s really small, you’re just looking at a brochure site that’s selling something very simple, and that’s your primary concern. You may have an e-commerce store, so you might want to then look at the different types of users and go through their journeys through that store. So a purchaser, an admin, all those sorts of things.

Chris: So then you put them in the order of priority.

Matt: Yeah, so when you think about those different types of user for an e-commerce store, who do you care the most about, and what are you trying to get them to do? What’s their end-goal? If web designers understand who is the most important user to look after, and what their most important use case is, it can help them determine the visual hierarchy for that design. For instance, if you are selling something online, but actually the most important thing you do with your users is engage with them through your email marketing. Perhaps we want a much more prevalent subscription thing on the site there, and we push that subscription service to their newsletter everywhere we can, because you’ve told us that’s the most important thing for you and your customers. That would steer the design.

Chris: Right, so you’ve defined each user’s objective, so then you need to list all the features to achieve that objective.

Matt: Yeah, so breaking down, that’s something that we could work on together, or a technical team could work on. So again, if you go to e-commerce, there’s going to be a certain amount of features you need to put on the website to achieve that objective. If you’re buying something, you need a shopping basket, you need tax rules, you need all of the different elements of an e-commerce system that would then fulfil that service. If they can’t get through the checkout, if they can’t pay for anything, then you’ve failed that user journey.

Chris: And finally, you need to give all that to your web developer so we can start building something.

Matt: Exactly. Working with a web developer once you’ve got or understood those user journeys, that’s when they can help get that site map right as well. And there’s lots of other things you should really look at before you start doing your site map, including SEO. So what we’ve looked at here is these user journeys and how you would plan your website, there’s maybe a whole other story to tell as well, which is looking at these user journeys and how you get them to your website and focus on them through online marketing. So there's a nice complex world you can build from understanding your audience and your user journeys.

Chris: That is highly useful.

Matt: That wasn’t very funny though, was it. I feel like we kind of need to do some pat-a-cake to give the audience something to look at.

Chris: I don’t know what to say on this bit. Is there a link to download something?

Matt: Maybe. Have a look below!

Chris: Yes there is! Thank goodness for that.

Matt: Great. Thanks everyone. Bye!


Let's work together!

Send us a message