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Current state journey map


Current state journey map is a tool used to visualise the user experience. It shows where and when a person or group interacts with existing services and products and what the experience is like for them. 


  • A strategic decision-making tool that can help identify and prioritise programs of work.
  • An understanding of the challenges faced by individuals or groups when they use a service.
  • An understanding of how multiple products, agencies or policies are working together – or not.


Use when

  • You want to know how people experience your service or product over time.
  • You want to identify and prioritise opportunities for improvement or optimisation.
  • You want to create alignment within teams and across agencies.
  • You want to reveal to stakeholders, teams or other organisations the part they play in a complex service or experience.
  • You want to design new initiatives that can be prioritised according to their impact on the user experience.

Journey maps are not

  • Process or system maps – Process or system maps focus on what happens within an organisation to deliver products and services. It may be useful to map internal processes too, but it won’t help you understand people’s experience.
  • Focused on organisational problems – Journey maps should be focused on understanding, improving or designing a user experience. They may surface or help fix organisational problems, but they should focus on users first.



Journey maps can be quite large. They work best as hard copy documents that can be displayed on a wall. 


Key terminology

Channel: Ways a user interacts with a service provider such as a call centre, app, online or face-to-face.

Delight point: A highlight or moment in the experience that gives users delight or a positive emotion such as a helpful phone call.

Need: The specific outcome a user is looking to achieve at a touchpoint, step or stage. This is smaller than their overall goal.

Opportunities: Moments in the journey that can be improved – this could be a stage, step, channel or touchpoint.

Pain point: An issue, problem or moment in the experience that is likely to cause negative emotions or perceptions for users such as a form is hard to find.

Service blueprint: Shows how the user journey aligns to the organisation’s processes.

Stage: A phase or a group of steps the user goes through to achieve their goal such as search or register.

Step: A specific action or activity a user does to achieve a goal such as contact the call centre or download a form.

Touchpoint: The intersection between a step and a channel (an action and a method) such as downloading the form online.