I have been doing some research in order to understand what is an scenario and what is a user journey. As I understood, after you develop your personas then you can create the scenarios for each one. Later you can think of some user journeys? is that correct?

Could you please help me understanding what is the main difference between them?

2 Answers 2


Boxes and Arrows: An introduction to user journeys might be a good read for you:

Creating a user journey places a strong emphasis on personas and also merges the creation of scenarios and user flows. However, unlike user flows, hierarchies, or functional specs (which explain the interaction between a user and a system’s logic and processes), user journeys explore a user’s mental and lived “patterns, processes, and paths” and translate these into web-based experiences.


Think about the user’s needs and the associated content in some form of time-based progression. You need a beginning, middle, and end. It is all rather logical; the trick is simply to role-play. Put yourself in the mindset of your user and imagine how the need states shift as you move through the overall process.

In other words, a scenario can be thought of as a singular situation and a journey can be a collection of scenarios that together form a narrative that defines the users total experience using your site.

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    i like to add, that user journeys usually shows the emotional state of the experience. and journeys might involve actions outside any software as well, like decide to plan a vacation, go to travel agency...
    – FrankL
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 15:53
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    @FrankL, @​Charles, Hmm, I've I've seen the term "scenario" used to describe what you are describing as "user journey" too. For example, we have a scenario: "the user is drunk but he needs to send an email by 12:00 midnight".
    – Pacerier
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 20:25
  • @Pacerier Yes, that is how scenarios are used in Scrum. But in the realms of design it has a different meaning,
    – FrankL
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 8:35

I find an explanation from this Medium article very helpful:

User Journeys define the motivations for using your app, they define the problems that your app solves for the user, they define the different phases of your app, and they define the experience from start to finish, as well as emotions and feelings that the user may have along the way.


Scenarios can be defined as outlining specific areas of functionality. What does the system need from users for that particular scenario? What do users need from the system for that particular scenario?

And, finally:

If you think of a User Journey as say, the book from start to finish, scenarios could be individual chapters.

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