I’m new, so be indulgente with me :)

I am working on a UX project, I have created personas and user journeys.

We have a workshop soon with users : I want to share my user journeys with them and collect feedbacks.

What kind of workshop can I conduct to validate my user journeys with them ?


I would avoid showing your result to the users, as it may bias them. Then, they would be prone to confirming your assumptions, just because they:

  • Think you are a specialist, and you're more competent than them (mostly if they don't fully grasp the journey/process or do it very rarely/long ago)
  • Don't want you to feel bad (mostly with emphatic people, and in cases where your error isn't a huge one)
  • Don't fully understand the concept/way of your presentation of user journey, so they don't feel confident speaking against it, not to look like a fool
  • Any many others..

Either way, what I suggest to you is that you do a workshop with them. Be their host and guide them to create the user journey themselves. Then, when you have their output, you use it to validate your ideas and might do a cross-checking interviews afterwards, asking the users about the details. For example:

Have you ever, when at the airport (let's say it was the environment of the user journey) had trouble with finding your gate? (the element ommitted by the user, that was in your user journey)

Edit: How to make a customer journey workshop?

  • Prepare several big paper sheets, post-its and markers
  • Ask a group of users to list all the steps that make up the journey, so get them from a point A to B
  • Ask them to arrange them on top of the paper (or several glued one) horizontally, in one swimlane, in order
  • Below, in second swimlane, ask them to mark only these steps, that they feel are crucial/give them the most trouble
  • Third swimlane, should be a bit taller and include their general feeling regarding the step, how are they feeling during the activity X? Ask them to draw a face with the corresponding feeling on a post-it and put it under each activity. For example: Waiting in a queue -> [ :| Bored ]. Ask them to put the post-its higher or lower in the swimlane, depending on how positive/negative the feeling is. Draw lines between each post-it, forming a graph.
  • Last swimlane, should adress the feelings/problems at the each step. Ask users, what do they think would actually help them in that specific moment? Spend the most time on the tasks marked as important (2nd swimlane) or with very negative associated emotion.

The two bottom swimlanes could look something like this (obviously with stickers, visuals are not important here, just grasping the idea): enter image description here Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/robertleotta/user-journeys/

Remember, this is just one of the ways to conduct User Journey workshop. There are many more ways to do that. You can change the scenario depending on what information you need. Here you will gain a high overview of the journey and some (maybe) unexpected insights.

  • Totally agree with you! Let them draw the journey themselves! – Dimitra Miha Mar 9 '17 at 12:50
  • "Create the user journey themselves." This is great advice. – Luke Smith Mar 12 '17 at 0:01

I advocate for involving customers in the customer journey mapping process from the outset, for 2 reasons:

  1. UX teams in general need more exposure to customers, period. Personas and maps and artifacts are treated as goal deliverables but they are a great opportunity for the primary research of talking to customers. Use the journey mapping workshop as a chance to actually hear the customer describe their journey. Have them come prepared with slides and stories, critical incidents that showcase every day pain points. Work from that as your material.
  2. If you work with other insiders and synthesize a journey map purely from secondary research, and THEN go ask customers what they think of your speculative model, you're biasing them to agree with you - even if you don't intend to. It's just human nature, when asked, to offer positive feedback. (For the same reason, we don't ask users what they prefer, we observe what they actually do in order to validate or challenge assumptions.)

Working with customers from the beginning and throughout the process - strategically, controlled but collaboratively - puts a lot less pressure on validating the journey map.


Thanks guys for your two relevent answers! I have just questions for you Marlena:

  • When you say "Ask a group of users to list all the steps that make up the journey, so get them from a point A to B", what kind of steps would be the most relevent for this exercice : action (like Go to the website, Search a "this information" in the menu,...) or page ( home page --> category--> paiment page), both?

  • If I have 15 participants in this workshop, how many people per group would be optimal in order to have an efficient workshop ? and how long would it take for 1 user journey?

  • Should I summarize all user journeys collected with users during the workshop session and how could I deal with it? or should I summarize all user journeys collected by myself after the workshop session ?

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