Chapter 10. Applying Main Plots and Subplots to User Journeys and Flows

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Applying Main Plots and Subplots to User Journeys and Flows

The Ideal Journey

Most of us have worked on a project requiring us to define key user journeys or flows. The user journeys may be either functional, focusing on what the user does, or functional-emotional, including what the user thinks and feels as well as does. Whichever format these user journeys have taken, our focus is often on a few key ones related to some of the main user goals or business objectives. Although at times alternate journeys are defined, more often than not the user journeys focus on the ideal scenario. We abstract steps or generalize what the user thinks and feels. Although these journeys at times depict that the user leaves the product or service in question to visit another website or do something offline, they most commonly focus primarily on what happens when using the product or service in question.

There is nothing wrong with that, per se, but also nothing particularly right about it either. As shown in Figure 7-2, a user’s journey rarely follows a linear path. Instead, it’s a mixture of online and offline and shifts from searching wide and far to narrow and deep. For user journeys to add the most value, they need to more accurately reflect what actually happens, or is likely to happen, no matter how complex this is. As much as we like to abstract to the ideal and the simple, the reality in which our products and ...

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