Use Patient Journey Mapping to Increase Patient Engagement | UpTop Health

Leveraging Journey Mapping to Increase Patient/Member Engagement

Watch the Video Replay of our May 13th Webinar

Journey mapping is a collaborative exercise that enables your team to develop empathy for your users by viewing the patient journey through their eyes. Watch the webinar video replay where you’ll learn about the value of patient journey mapping, how to create a map that uncovers what is and isn’t working well for them, and how to leverage those findings across your organization.


  • Where journey mapping fits within the larger UX process
  • How to create a journey map that builds empathy for your users and identifies areas for the largest impact
  • Prioritizing improvements and aligning the team around a common vision
  • Live Q&A session after the presentation
  • PDF of presentation deck available for download

On May 13th, 2021 we held a webinar on Journey Mapping.

Presenters: Abbey Smith, UX Designer & Deborah Roberts, UX Designer
Live Q&A: including Michael Woo, Director of UX, Craig Nishizaki, Head of Business, and Yuri Kurat, CTO

Webinar Transcript

Abbey:  Okay. Hello, everybody. It’s great to have you here. Welcome to UpTop Health journey mapping workshop where we are going to focus on how to leverage the user journey mapping exercise to increase patient and member experience. So, speaking with you today is Deborah Roberts and myself, Abby Smith, we are both UX designers at UpTop Health. And UpTop Health is a UX design agency that strives to create effortless digital experiences for healthcare payers, for providers, and their customers. We focus on strategy, design and development. So, this is our rough schedule of events this afternoon. I will be taking you through some important context of where journey mapping fits into the project process. And Deborah will take you through the detailed process of creating a journey map and what to do with those insights. So, before we get into journey mapping, it’s important to talk about user experience design. What is UX design? Why do we bring that up here? Let me explain.

So, great UX is the engineering of the entire experience, not just the design of the screens. Now, there are some methods that I’ve thought that break this down into two different things, CX customer experience and UX user experience. But for this application, we’re going to combine the two thought processes and really go with that UX is the entire experience and not just the design of the screens. In a bit more detail here, UX is the intersection between human users and everyday products and services. So, the closer the circles become the more unified the experience, rather than the further they are, the more disjointed the experience. So, it’s the intersection of business goals, technology and design. Now, psychology of the user is also a very large part, who is your user? Why do they act the way that they do? And what do they want from your product or service. Now, thinking about all of these things while designing helps to bring you as close as possible to your desired business goals and to the user’s desired goals as well.

In working with healthcare companies, we at UpTop Health have come across the same kinds of challenges over and over again. Customer engagement challenges like omni channel experiences following a user from a phone to laptop to social media to your app. Internal silos challenges where teams are not communicating with each other about project and goals that almost always affects more than just their team. Regulation challenges, it can seem like new rules are always popping up. And it can be hard to seamlessly integrate them into your experience. Cybersecurity challenges including dealing with a social engineering of human errors. Big data challenges like patient information transfer between providers, provider to patient, patient to provider or provider and payer. And legacy system challenges like trying to integrate the imperative from the older systems to the new ones. Now of course, there are more, but all of these challenges would greatly benefit from doing the mapping. So I wanted to take a second to frame the six major ones to keep in the back of your head as we go through this process.

Why is it important for a healthcare firm, provider or payer to focus on the user’s experience? Well, looking at the study done by Forrester Consulting on the comparison between experience driven healthcare firms and all others, revenue increased, we can see that customer advocacy increased, customer satisfaction increased, company market valuations increased, product reviews increased, and the only thing that decreased was time to market. And that’s because these firms were taking the extra step upfront to make sure the user had the best experience possible on launch. So, the time it took to get there was a little bit longer, but everything else increase in a positive way. So how do we become experienced driven healthcare firms? Well, a really great place to start is by bringing design thinking into your process. Design thinking was made famous by a man named David Kelly. He was the founder of IDEO and a professor at Stanford. It encompasses the entire lifecycle of a product. And the specific tools shown here and some of the same reoccurring themes you’ve already heard are, empathizing, so you empathize with the user.

Define, defining the problem that you’re trying to solve. Ideate, ideating on as many solutions as possible. Prototype, so we’re going to prototype the top solutions and then test. And we’re testing these ideas and these prototypes with users. Now breaking that down a little bit further into the empathy section, we are trying to understand our users. So not just sympathizing with them, we’re really trying to empathize with them. And understanding them at their core will get us to a better and more meaningful solution. Remembering here that users are human, and not just data points, is really key to success. So, as an example of empathy within the healthcare space, coming back to the challenge of legacy systems that we mentioned before, an example could be remembering that maybe your largest demographic is the 55 plus population. And while your chief technology officer really wants to upgrade to more cutting edge systems as soon as possible, your users may benefit and continue or even increase engagement from a slower rollout so that they have time to get used to these changes in a more bite sized way.

So how can we gain empathy for our users? How do we do this? We do this through research. And we’ll want to include a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods, like conducting user interviews, and then also looking at your analytics and behavior monitoring services, you can create personas that help guide you in creating solutions that keep your top 48 users in consideration at all times. And you can also create a journey map. So, let’s talk about journey mapping. What is journey mapping? Journey mapping is a visualization of the series of interactions a person has with a company while attempting to accomplish a goal over time and across channels. The across channels part is also very important here. So, what does a journey map look like? So at its core, a journey map is showing users going through your experience in time, that top horizontal axis here. And then also, we’re writing down information as they go that your healthcare firm wants to know and wants to figure out through that time. So the vertical axis, the themes of analysis.

And while the experience can change from journey map to journey map, the themes of analysis usually stay the same for all. And what this could look like, built out a little bit. Now this is a fairly basic example of what a journey map can look like. But we can see how it can start to come together to form some opportunities on that bottom row. Now, a more robust example here, we’re noticing the lens at the top. Who is this for? What is the scenario? There is a visual experience in the middle complete with an emotional ride of the users feelings. And then you can see on the bottom solution starting to form. Journey maps can be used as a visual to show stakeholders across the company. So, when created pretty thoroughly, they become a really powerful bargaining chip. Okay, great. So, we know what journey mapping is, we kind of know how it works, but why does it help. So, journey mapping helps to identify gaps in the experience. Internally, you can create common goals and a vision for the project while also encouraging cross discipline collaboration and alignment.

So, we’re knocking down those internal silos we talked about as a big challenge within healthcare firms earlier. Creating empathy and getting a better understanding of the experience that the user is going through within your product or service. And the more you can do this, the better your solutions become. So to give a more specific example here, I was working on a project for a nationwide eCommerce platform where we did an extremely large audit of their post-purchase experience. Now, I know the industry is different, but none of these exercises that we did change, journey mapping helps across the board. So, this audit was every single thing that happened after a customer pressed buy to when the money got back into their account after a return. So it’s a pretty large section of time. And doing six different journey maps with six different personas to cover some of the major scenarios within that post purchase experience, one of the biggest opportunities for improvement that we identified was the need to evaluate the behind the scenes happenings, the internal processes that run to make the customer experience happen.

Now, the kicker is they already knew this was a problem. They already knew this was an area that they were falling short in. But having us a third party audit this process and provide key opportunities and recommendations on how to solve issues, enabled the people on this project at this company that we worked with to bring evidence to an executive to get major buy in so that restructuring could begin. So we identified issues with the customer experience, we understood how it was affecting the customer, we were able to map the problem back to internal teams being siloed. And then we can move forward with actionable steps for this solution. So, how to make a journey map. I’m going to go through the high level steps here, and Deborah will be going into more details. So, let’s go ahead and get started.

So the setup. Before anything else happens, it’s important to make sure you have a diverse set of people doing this exercise. Gathering members across teams, and who have 360 degree view of your users. So, those two things are important. We recommend five to eight people, and grabbing from teams like customer service or customer experience, marketing, analytics, product owners, and or designers. So, step one, choosing the approach here, when you start a journey map, you need to make some choices. And these choices will affect the end result. You can start with the current state, the current experience of the customer goes through or a future state, which is an ideal experience that the customer could go through. You can also start within hypothesis-first approach, where you do the journey mapping first and then validate it with research, or a research-first approach where you do that research up front before conducting the journey map.

So, for today’s exercise, we will be working with the current state, because we want to understand and document what’s going on currently. Visualizing what exists today. And then we will be using the hypothesis-first experience because we want to move quickly. So, who was the map for? Creating a persona is something that we mentioned earlier as a way to empathize with the user. It’s also a great starting point for a journey map. Personas are the main characters, they are the main users of your product or service, and they illustrate the needs, goals, thoughts, feelings, opinions, expectations, and pain points. And you can have many personas. But for the purpose of journey mapping, we’re only going to need to utilize one. So, personas for journey maps here they can include a name, usually a fictitious name, a job title if it’s relevant, any sort of demographical information, a relevance personal story so that we can learn more about that person, their personality and their day to day.

A quote, something that the persona might say that, again helps to define them. And then any sort of goals, motivations, behaviors, and beliefs that are relevant to the scenario. Now, for the actual creation of a journey map. This takes a little bit of prep time, but it’s definitely worth it. So, once you know what scenario you want to map out, starting by writing one to two word labels of each point of that journey. So, depending on how long your scenario is, and how detailed you want to get, these labels can be broad, if you want to cover a large amount of time in a smaller journey map, or they can be a bit more detailed, if you want to zone in on one area and really focus in there. Now, once that’s done, we put them in an order from left to right in the way you think a user might experience them.

And for creating the Y axis with the themes of analysis, which are touchpoint of channel, user actions, actor or actors, questions, emotions, pain points and opportunities. These go down the side of your journey map. And to talk a little bit about what those mean here. So, touchpoint or channel is where how the user is engaging with a product or service, your customer actions, the things that they need to do in order to move on to the next step. Actors are the people that the user will engage with along their journey, which can include anyone from customer service all the way to a chat bot. Questions, the things that the users need answering before they’d be willing to move on to the next step. Sometimes these can be roadblocks. Customer emotions, the mood of the user at this particular touch point, pain points are frustrations and annoyances that spoil the experience. And then opportunities are what us who are doing the journey map can start to come up with based on the experience that we’ve seen our persona go through so far.

Now, we know well all these mean, we start to fill everything out. So we go from left to right, top to bottom. And we’re doing this with that group that we gathered at the beginning to get many points of view, while also keeping in mind your users or your persona that we chose at the beginning. Now, for the part that gets everyone excited, identifying opportunities. We’re trying to come up with opportunities that address the problems that we identified in that journey map. We can do this with a point of view statement combining the user need and insight to create an actionable statement with a narrow focus. So an example would be customers service needs to implement 24/7 AI chat, because calls are coming in at midnight. We can also do this with a How Might We statement where we’re creating a level of ambiguity to open up ideation and solutions to any sort of range here. An example would be how might we enable users to figure out questions they call in about on their own? So, for our example scenario here, we are on the customer experience team for a large payer company.

And our goal is to improve the experience for users trying to find an in network specialty doctor. And our persona for this journey map is Gillian Smith. Gillian is a 47 year old business owner with two teenagers and a husband who is deployed, she is very busy dealing with her business and caring for her kids. But Gillian loves running and makes time for that and her day. She lives for that runner’s high as you can see right there in that quote. But unfortunately, Gillian fell the last time she was out for a run and hurt her knee pretty badly. So, her goals and motivations going into the scenario are that she wants to run a fourth marathon and she wants to be pain free while doing that. And knowing that she’s probably going to need to see a doctor, she wants it to be close in location to her business and home so that her schedule doesn’t get all sorts of messed up. And Gillian doesn’t have a ton of disposable income. And going to the doctor in general makes her a little bit nervous.

So with this, we can really get a better picture and gain some more empathy of Gillian who was our persona going through this experience. And with that, I will turn this over to Deborah, who will take us through a more detailed journey mapping experience.

Deborah: Hi, everyone. So I am going to be walking you through the process of creating a journey map. And we’ll be doing that in Miro, which is a digital whiteboarding platform that we use for remote collaboration. And as Abby mentioned, we are going to be representing the customer experience team for a large payer company. And in our scenario, Gillian, a mom and marathon runner, needs to have knee surgery. And she is trying to find an in network orthopedic provider that isn’t too far away from home. And for today’s exercise, we will be working with the current state to visualize the experience customers have when attempting to accomplish a goal with our company as it exists today. We are also going to be doing hypothesis-first, so we can move quickly. And because this is hypothesis-first, that means that no user research like user interviews or contextual inquiry has been done. So, to build out the map, we’re going to move through the current site with this particular persona and scenario in mind, we could also pull from existing data and analytics on user behavior.

And we would want to validate with real users at some point later in the process, such as through a usability testing with the prototype. So I’m going to start by giving you kind of way of the land here as we look at this journey map. Across the top, we have our stages, which are the broader labels of awareness, consideration, action and advocacy. And then zooming in here, we have our steps. And these are the key moments in the journey. So, you’ll see we have big fall, PCP for primary care physician, insurance portal, find a doc, search, filter, pan to the left here. Review, choose, customer service, call specialists, confirm appointment, and share experience. And as Abby mentioned earlier, we generally want to keep these labels for the steps short and we’ll get into the details as we get into the themes for analysis.

So, now looking at those themes at the left here, we have the touch point or channel, which is where or how Gillian is engaging with the payer company. We have customer actions, things Gillian needs to do to move to the next step. Actors, people from the payer company that Gillian will engage with along their journey. Questions, things Gillian needs answered before they are willing to move to the next step. Customer emotions, which is the mood of Gillian at this particular touchpoint. And then pain points, frustrations and annoyances that spoil the experience. And lastly, opportunities, which are design enhancements that you could do to implement and address the problems identified. So, we’re going to start to fill this out together, you’ll see a full part of the map and already just because of time, but working through this together, I think will give you a good idea of how you could build this out on your own. So, we’ll start with the touch point or channel. And I’ll just backtrack for a moment. So in this experience, or in this story that we’re showing, we are wanting to improve engagement in our customer portal.

And you’ll see that there are a couple of steps that happen before they actually engage with the portal. And we do this because it gives you a bigger picture into the user’s mental and emotional state, before they actually engage with you. And this can provide opportunities to engage and solve their problems before they even come to your digital experience. This is especially important as we are currently living in a multi channel world, and users paths are not always linear, they might have a wearable device, they might be starting their experience with you on mobile and then moving to desktop. So we want to make sure that that experience is streamlined across all these different ways to engage as much as possible. It can also be useful on mentioned two to identify ways to improve social detriments of health.

So, in our example, her journey starts with a big fall. And so looking at the touch point or channel, in our story, Gillian actually does have a wearable device. So there could be opportunity to engage there. At the PCP, at the primary care physician, she’s engaging through the doctor’s office. And then when she logs into the insurance portal, she’s doing that in our story on a desktop computer. And in our story, she is on that desktop throughout the entire time she’s exploring the portal. So when she’s finding a doc, searching, filtering, reviewing and choosing. Then in our story, she calls customer service. And that’s happening on her mobile device. Call specialist and confirm appointment are also on mobile. And then for sharing her experience, we also have that on mobile.

So, now that we have filled in essentially how she is engaging with us, we are going to fill in the customer actions. So, under big fall, Gillian falls out for a run in her neighborhood, then she goes to her primary care specialist. So, for the customer action, we add just a bit more detail here. So goes to her PCP, and is referred to an orthopedic specialist. In the insurance portal, she logs into insurance portal to look for a specialist, then she navigates to find a doc page. Under search, she searches for ortho doc near me. Under filter, she applies location and ratings filters. Under review, she reviews ratings and in office care options such as X-ray and MRI. Under choose, she chooses a couple doctors to reach out to, customer service, she calls customer service to compare costs. And on our story, she also is calling to see when she can be seen the soonest. So she calls her specialist, all the different specialists to see when she can come in. She solidifies an appointment with one doctor. And then she posts on social and tells friends about her experience.

And I will just note that generally with the journey map, we would show more of the experience here, but because of time consideration, we’re just going to be showing this portion versus when she would be going to the doctor and then also dealing with pain, dealing with her claims information. So, now that we’ve entered in all of her actions, we would want to look at the actors. And again, the actors would be anyone from the insurance company that Gillian is engaging with at each of these steps. And in our story, this doesn’t happen until she calls a customer service rep. So, we’re actually going to come back over here under customer service, we’ll enter that in, customer service rep. And then we’ll go ahead and enter in her questions. So again, these are things that she needs answered before she can move to the next step. So, under big fall, she might be asking, “Do I need to go to the doctor? How serious is this?”

Under a primary care physician, as she’s talking to her doctor, she’s wondering, “Am I seriously injured?” When she’s logging into her insurance portal, in our scenario, she’s already signed up and registered. So no real questions there. Under find a doc, she might be asking, “How do I find a specialist in my network?” When she is searching? She’s wondering, “Can I find a specialist nearby?” Then she’s applying filters and she’s wondering, “Are there highly rated specialists nearby?” Under review, she’s wondering, “How do these specialists compare?” Under choose, she might be wondering, “How much will this cost? And when can I be seen?” Under customer service, what are the cost differences between specialists? When she’s actually calling the specialists, she might be asking, “Are they accepting new patients? Do they have openings? Do I bring anything with me?”

When she’s finally confirming her appointment in our scenario, she doesn’t have any questions and same for her experience. So we have that as blank. So, now we’ve entered in the questions, we’re going to be looking at Gillian’s emotional state at each step of the process. Here’s where things start to kind of come together and get interesting. So, with big fall, you can see this is a very heightened emotional state, she’s possibly in pain, she’s wondering how serious this is. So, she’s very upset. When she goes into her primary care physician, she’s wondering how seriously injured she is. So, she has some stress here, and she still might be feeling some pain. So, all of that she has kind of this negative experience before logging in to the insurance portal. She’s already registered. And so that login experience is pretty streamlined, so no negative emotions there. So we have her emotions lifting a little bit, more neutral. When she’s looking for a doctor, in our current site experience, we found that it was actually kind of challenging to find specialists and network.

And so then she gets a little bit stressed out here, which we capture with that stressed emoji. When she’s searching for ortho docs near me, we also found in our current site experience that it did not… The search did not take into account her location, her query. And so it actually did not show results that were near her. So, that was stressful. Then she applied filters, which in our site experience seem to work well. So, then her emotions came up a bit more neutral there. And as she is reviewing all the different specialists, we found in our current site experience that there was no way to compare specialists side by side. And that was frustrating, so then her emotions dipped down a bit. As she’s choosing the doctors, she chooses a couple doctors to reach out to, she still has some questions, but she’s starting to finalize her choices, so her emotions are coming up a little bit more neutral. She does have to call customer service to learn about the cost differences between the specialists. But in our scenario, we found the customer service rep to be very helpful. So, this makes Gillian happy.

Then, as she’s moving to call specialists, she’s asking questions, she has a number of questions to ask. And because she had to take that extra step, her motions dipped down, but it’s not a negative experience, it’s more neutral. And then she’s confirming her appointment. So, here she’s very happy. She’s finally made some decisions. And then she’s coming to share her experience. And you can see how all of these steps kind of combined together to end up with this final result of how Gillian is feeling about her experience overall. So now we’re going to go back. Now that we’ve entered the emotional state, we’re going to go back and enter in the actual pain points associated with each step. So, here we’re looking at the big fall. So, pain points are, at this point kind of literal, she’s injured her knee, she has trouble walking. When she goes into the primary care physician, she learns that she has to go to a specialist, so we’re going to capture that as a pain point, she has to go into see someone else, it’s going to take longer for her injury to be addressed.

And she’s logging into the insurance portal, no real pain points to note there, it was pretty streamlined. For finding a doc, we found that in our current online experience, it was hard to find where to look for docs in network and it took multiple clicks to get to that page. So we wanted to note those as pain points. When she was searching, she searched for ortho docs near me and we found that the search did not recognize her location queries. That was frustrating and wanted to capture that. As she was applying filters, it seemed to work pretty well in our on site experience. So no pain points to note there. As she was reviewing the different specialists, she found that she couldn’t compare specialists side by side in our current experience. So, we definitely wanted to note that as a pain point, room to improve. Under choose, which she was she actually chooses doctors to reach out to, no real pain points to note there. She did have to call into customer service.

So we wanted to note that even though her experience was positive, she would have to call and do an extra step to get that information. When she is calling the specialists, she does have to call each doctor again to check on openings. So we just wanted to note that as well as there could be room to improve. And then for confirm appointment, no real pain points there, she’s finally made a choice and then share experience, you can see that if there were any pain points as a part of this whole experience, you could gather, it would be shared here as well. And again, all this steps really add up together to inform how Gillian feels about her experience. And one great thing about journey mapping is it shows you that improving the areas that are the most sticky, it can really go a long way to improving your overall customer satisfaction. So, we’re going to come back to that last row, the opportunities in just a moment. But I want to talk a little bit more about what we do in these next steps.

So now that we’ve mapped out our user journey, what do we do next? Throughout the different stages of the design thinking process, you alternate between moments of divergence where you’re looking at the problem in a wider context, and then convergence where you want to focus in to define the problem and the opportunity to solve. So we’ve flared in the creation of our journey map, we uncovered questions, pain points, and the emotional state of Gillian as they engage with our product or service at each interaction point. So, now we want to move into the define phase where we look at problems that we identified and see where they might align with our business goals and KPIs. This helps us to see if there is an obvious place to start. So, here are some examples of KPIs that exist in the healthcare space.

We have employee engagement, which can have direct impacts on your customer experience, we have the quality of operations, such as customer data quality, security breaches, which can definitely affect customer trust, we have engagement, retention, and churn of your customers, which have direct tie ins with the customer journey map and how they’re using your products, services. There’s also defections and renewal rates. Then we have customer support or self-service, such as task completion time, and support requests. We also have customer satisfaction, which can be customer effort score, how easily can your users complete tasks? And also brand advocacy and reputation? Your customer referrals. What are they saying about you to their social network?

So, we use an activity called how might we questions, we use this at UpTop Health to connect the user experience to the needs of the business. And oftentimes we’ll do this activity in the context of a client workshop where we’re facilitating participants through structured activities to discover opportunities. And this usually is with about five to eight people, we’ll have a decision maker or executive represented someone who’s representing the voice of the customer, someone from tech, product owner. And what we’ll do at UpTop, is we’ll create a draft of the journey map ahead of time through doing some research, reviewing analytics, stakeholder interviews, things like that. And then we’ll meet with this group in the workshop, and we’ll invite each of them to essentially give expert talks to share insights and dig into important parts of the flow. And while each person is sharing, the rest of the participants are generating these, how might we questions individually. And they’re taking pain points identified from each expert, and turning them into how might we questions.

And two things we’ll call out about this, is having moments for individual work is a great way to allow you to generate more ideas and allow room for more creativity as well as those who maybe aren’t as active and comfortable speaking to share their ideas. And then framing it as a how might we, really frames it in an open way. It allows you to be more open to possibilities when moving into ideation. So, here’s some examples of how you actually would do this. So for example, let’s say you have an expert talking about how they are trying to reduce their support call requests. And in reviewing their data, they found that there was a lot of calls in to find network doctors. And in our journey map under find a doc, that step, there was the pain point that it was hard for Gillian to find where to look for docs in her network. And so we could turn that into how might we, in that, how might we make it easier to find in-network providers? Another example is, let’s say you have an expert talking about reducing abandonment rate.

And they’re sharing how in reviewing their search logs, they’re finding that a lot of people are using natural language and there is a high abandonment rate on the search results page. And this also maps back to what we saw in our experience with Gillian under the search step, there was a pain point that search doesn’t recognize the location query when she searches for ortho doc near mean. And so we could turn that into a how might we improve search to recognize natural language? Then we have how might, and then we have… Another example is when an expert might be sharing how to improve task completion time. And they’re sharing how they have been reviewing analytics, and they see that their users are spending a lot of time looking for different specialists. And you could turn that into a how might we, in that under review in our map, we saw that there was a pain point that you couldn’t compare specialists side by side. So we could say how might we allow users to compare options more easily?

So now that everyone has generated all these how might we questions, how do you choose? So, we choose how might wes that represent the largest opportunity to solve our users need and reach your business KPI. So what we do, is we create an affinity map, we have each participant share their how might we questions, then we group them by theme on to an infinity map. We then give each participant a group of dots that they’ll use to vote and choose the most promising, how might we questions that will help them reach their long term goal for that particular project. Then we’ll incorporate the top how might wes on to the journey map with the correlating step in the user journey. So, then we’ll have the group discuss the most important customer and target moments. And then we’ll ask our decision maker or executive to vote on the top, how might we or the top three or four to move forward with into ideation. And this process allows all the stakeholders that are working on this project to have a voice in deciding what problems to focus on.

And it’s not only great for internal alignment, but working with a diverse group helps to uncover problems or roadblocks early in the process. And then you can account for that in your solutions. So the next step is to move into ideation. And it’s another moment where we diverged, we want to encourage participants to let their imaginations run wild, where there are truly no stupid answers, we want to encourage creativity. And at UpTop Health we use a mix of individual and group activities, which gives you the space to think big and move quickly, while also building off of one another’s ideas. And this is another reason why it’s great to include a variety of roles and backgrounds in the process because you’ll find that people approach the problem in different ways. After we’ve generated a massive solutions and ideas, then we’ll take the top ones and we’ll place them on this impact versus effort chart, and this helps us to prioritize. So we’ll look at how each solution maps as far as how hard will it be to implement, as well as the impact on the user experience.

And this helps you to see ideas that maybe you should reconsider if perhaps they had a very high effort of implementation and a low effort on user experience. And then conversely, if there’s a very high impact on the user, and a very low effort of implementation, it’s something that’s a quick one, and you’ll want to get started with it right away. So, after you’ve prioritized your solutions, this is where we get into the testing phase. So, we break out the paper, the scissors and glue, and we want to simulate what our proposed solution may look like. You can also create a purely digital experience in which case we often use programs like Figma, XC, Sketch, or you can even use programs like Keynote or PowerPoint. And the goal is to create a simulation of your solution to put in front of users. And this will enable you to see how the solution will perform in the real world and to really validate whether this solution is viable or not.

And it’s important to remember, even if it’s not viable, it’s still a win as you are able to explore an idea with minimal cost to your company. So this is an example of a final deliverable from a project that we completed with Premera. And in this challenge Premera’s member portal relied on many third party solutions, some of which could potentially built in-house to gain control over the customer experience. So, our solution was leading Premera through a multi day envisioning workshop with design thinking and ideation activities. And this helped to align the larger group of stakeholders and generate divergent thinking. And the outcome of this project was a carefully crafted story and prototype that you see here reimagining key moments of a patient’s journey, effectively through new self-service experiences aimed at reducing support call volumes.

We’ve performed journey mapping exercises with a number of clients and consistently we have seen aha moments that come out of this. An example of this is we recently did a UX strategy sprint with a leading insurance provider to explore how they could evolve their current workflow processes and systems to improve their team’s communication and efficiency. And during the journey mapping exercise, the main stakeholder was able to ask direct questions to the key users, that certain aspects of the flow and why they were needed. And after the sprint, they noted that they now had a lot more insight into how workflows is today, which made their following discussions and initiatives a lot more fruitful. Similarly, the product owner noted that the process has helped to bring team members along that were feeling unsure about the upcoming changes. So, main takeaways here, journey mapping is a useful tool to understand how are users engage with your product or service, and how these interaction points are connected. It creates a foundation for the design and strategy going forward.

KPIs and expert talks can help to reveal moments for the largest impact that map to your business objectives, and bringing stakeholders from different parts of the org together to review the journey map creates internal alignment around a vision forward. You can use activities like impact versus effort to identify quick wins versus larger initiatives, and making sure that you prototype test and iterate to validate your idea before taking it to development. Journey mapping helps to create a story that you can then share throughout your organization. This can take the form of a clickable prototype like the premier example, or it can be a journey map visual complete with the emotional experience and proposed solutions. This helps to humanize your user and increase the connection to their experience and needs in a more meaningful way. And now we are going to open it up for a Q&A session, and joining us will be Michael Woo, director of UX. Craig Nishizaki, head of business and Yuri Kurat, chief technology officer.

Post-Presentation Q&A

Craig: All right. Great job, Deborah and Abby. That was amazing. And we had the question that came in from Diana about the presentation itself. And after the webinar, we will be providing a PDF of the presentation as well as a recording for everyone so that you can rewatch it if there are some things that you may want to dig deeper into. So we have some questions that we have for the panelists. And so I’m going to go ahead and start with these questions. I have them queued up here. Excuse me while I look to the side. First question is, “How many journey maps do I need? Do I need a customer journey map for every persona, or every customer segment?” And I think, let’s start with Deborah and then Abby and Michael, if you guys want to jump in to answer, that’d be great.

Deborah: Sounds good. Thank you, Craig. Hi, everyone. So there’s no hard or fast rule for how many journey maps you should create. But I think it is helpful to definitely create journey maps for your main personas or customer segments. And you can start small, maybe focus on your largest customer segments, and then grow from there. You also might want to map multiple scenarios for one person, depending on your project goals. For example, in the journey map that we reviewed, we just looked at the journey when they were looking for their specialists, but we also might want to create a separate map for when they receive care and then also go through the claim and billing process. But essentially, what I think is always a great rule of thumb is to look at your project and your long term goal, and then use that to prioritize what persona and also scenario you should focus on.

Craig: Great, thanks, Deborah. Anyone else have some input?

Michael: The only thing I was going to add is that, just remember that personas change over time as demographics change. So, always make sure to keep them updated.

Craig: All right. Second question that we have. And then again, feel free to pop into the Q&A if you have any follow up questions that you want to ask attendees, that’d be great. But the second question we have, and I’ll start with Abby on this one is, how do I know if my scenario is too broad or inversely, maybe too narrow for the journey mapping exercise?

Abbey: That’s a great question. And I think this kind of, can piggyback off of what Deborah just said about, it depends on your project, it depends on your scenario that you’re looking at, and your customer segment. Now, if you are trying to solve five goals within one project, it could be really beneficial to do a broad journey map to understand the entire experience within those goals. And then you can always do more and break it down a little bit into a journey map for each of those five, or it kind of just depends on how much information you need, how quickly you need it, journey maps can take a little bit of time to go through to make sure you have all the people there necessary. So, just coordination of all of that can take a little bit. But I think it depends on the project and what you’re trying to solve. It can be really broad, or it can be fairly narrow, you have to kind of use some discretion to decide that.

Craig: All right. Anyone else have any thoughts on that? No? All right, cool, great answer, Abby. And then the next question that came in, is when doing research for customer journey maps, specifically interviewing customers, how many customers are sufficient to get the right kind of data that’s relevant? I think, actually, this is a really good question because research always is something that comes up when people think, “Oh, it’s going to be so big, it’s going to take so long, and we may already learn what we know.” But why don’t I throw this question to Mike, and then Deborah and Abby, if any of you want to jump in on that, that’d be great.

Michael: Yeah. It’s a really great question. And the answer unfortunately, is I think it depends. It depends on a lot of things. So, what does your access to users look like? How larger pool do you have to pull from. You have to consider time and budget, often that is a huge driver in terms of how much data you can collect. Ask yourself how fast do you want to move. The longer you take, obviously, you might be losing market share, and you just might be spending way too much time in the weeds actually doing the research and not actually making progress towards fixing the goal, or achieving the goal. And then ask yourself, how much data does your organization require of you before making decisions. There are some organizations that require a lot of data in order to move forward, especially true if you’re doing clinical studies, that kind of sort makes total sense. But if it’s just a digital web experience type of thing, you might not need as much in order to gather the insights needed.

Obviously, you don’t want too smaller sample size. And if it’s too large, you’re going to start to get diminishing returns. So you kind of have to balance the two. It’s hard to throw out a number and I actually don’t want to do that. But consider what the sample size is for each persona, as well. Because again, just because you have a huge pool of users, they’re all different and then you have to consider that. But yeah. Is there anything else? Do you guys want to add?

Yuri: I would say representation is a good rule of thumb here when you’re thinking about your clients, and you segment them out to what are some of the other groups. For example, when it comes to age or location or literacy with web. So make sure that each of the major groups that are represented, 80% of your users, you have at least one or two people from that group?

Michael: Absolutely.

Craig: All right. So, next question we have is, “What tools do you recommend when creating journey maps? Are there some tools that have been helpful for you all to use?” We saw Miro, but is there anything else that you would recommend to the audience to check out?

Deborah: Always classic post a note and Sharpie and whiteboard to go the analog route.

Abbey: That’s a favorite.

Deborah: Yeah, that’s a favorite. And it is sometimes just nice to do it physically in-person if you’re able when working together on it with a team to build this out. But while working remotely, Miro has actually been a really awesome collaboration tool because you can move things around in real time, you can see everyone else’s mouses moving things around in real time. And it feels actually almost like you’re together. So, I would definitely recommend checking out Miro, I know another tool I haven’t used personally, but I’ve heard decent things about, is also Mural, I believe. That’s another one you could try. But those will be my two to go-tos. Analog or Miro.

Michael: Yeah. Another one is UXPress… I don’t even know how to pronounce it. It’s UXPressia, or pressia, or something like that .com. And it’s essentially like a spreadsheet, but very visual, where it allows you to insert rows and steps very, very easily. So, that’s a really nice one. But ProTip in terms of the analog one, if you do that, it’s ideal to have one room if you have one like that to set up. But otherwise, put your posted notes on large foam core boards. I used to have that in the office, that allows it to be mobile within your organization, you can kind of move it from floor to floor, if you don’t have a primary destination where it needs to be. But that’s definitely been helpful in the past.

Deborah: Yeah. And if you’re putting them up on a wall, just test it first to make sure the posts don’t fall off.

Michael: Yeah.

Deborah: It’d be painful.

Craig: Yeah. All right. That’s a great answer. And another question that came in actually, there’s two questions that kind of coincide with each other. So, I’ll ask this question first. A question came in that says, “What is the right resource mix for journey mapping team? Example, marketing, clinical, operations, IT, innovation.” So, I think that’s a really great question. Why don’t we go ahead and throw that out to the team and then I have a follow up to that?

Deborah: Sure.

Abbey: I can take that one on. So, for the specific dream mapping exercise, grabbing people who specifically have a 360 view of your customer or your user. So usually, those teams are even customer service reps, your customer experience team, marketing has that a lot, analytics. So you can get some quantitative numbers behind coming into that journey map as well. And then any sort of product owner or designer, they usually have some sort of research or some sort of knowledge around the user. But gathering those people to make sure you have a 360 view of your user, can help make sure that you aren’t forgetting anything, as you go across your journey mapping steps. And then once that happens, and you’re trying to evaluate some of your pain points and opportunities, then you can gather in some more people from your DevOps, your IT, your innovation team, to make sure that you have a well rounded group there to make sure you hit all of your necessary team members within a certain project. So you can have a well rounded team and get well rounded answers from them as well.

Deborah: Yeah, that’s a great answer, Abby. I will just add to that, I think especially in that review state, when you’re bringing other people in, it’s a great time to foster kind of internal alignment and collaboration. And so thinking about your project and the long term goal and thinking about who’s going to be important to moving this forward, and to bring them into the process earlier rather than later. Because it makes them feel like a part of the process and to really understand the user’s point of view. And then also, you’re able to get input from them early on, so that way, as you get into development down the road, you don’t have these huge roadblocks that come up, because maybe you didn’t know about something that was a technical issue, or really important to the business stakeholders that you should have implemented earlier, or how to be a part of the solution. So again, bringing these folks in early is just a great way to ensure that your project will have success and get implemented down the road.

Michael: Yeah. I just was going to add that you typically have your core folks that you involve with the creation of the journey map, but you might have to bring in some subject matter experts who may not deal with the customers firsthand, but have very deep knowledge in the actual process flow and what happens behind the scenes. And again, you might need to call on those folks that really understand what is happening to help uncover those opportunities.

Craig: All right, those are great answers. And the follow up to this, and I think this will be one of the last questions because we’re coming up on the top of the hour, is at what point does it make sense to do a journey map? Is it when we’re creating something brand new? Is it when we’re reevaluating how we’re doing? Is it when we realize and have executive buying that we have some problems? At what point have you seen it be really successful in getting alignment and on the vision of what needs to be done?

Deborah: Well, I would start with, I think all of the above. I think it can be beneficial truly. Because when you’re starting out brand new it’s the great time to do a journey map, because it helps to see what opportunities there are, where is your customer at, what capabilities do you have, and where there may be gaps that you need to focus on. And as Abby had mentioned in the very beginning, there’s different types of journey maps, there’s current state versus future state, so you can look at… I if you’re starting out brand new, you could use a future state like, “Where do I want to be?” But it’s also great at evaluating if you have an existing product or service, and you’re having problems with it, it’s great to evaluate where you are. And that can help you pinpoint the areas that are going to have the largest impact, so you can prioritize that to focus on them first, to make the larger impact for both your user and the business goal.

Michael: Yeah.

Yuri: I would add that in our industry, you rarely work with a clean slate, you usually are trying to make changes to what’s already happened. There’s a lot of legacy systems out there. So, I would say two great examples where journey mapping is useful is digital transformation, where you’re trying to build a new digital front door experience, is when you’re trying to see what can we change within the existing systems, so that we serve customers better, or get better engagement with members, patients and so forth. This would be great, it would be harder to make things happen, and you will need to make concessions and trade offs as you do, but reevaluating sort of mid flight is also important because you can then negotiate changes within legacy and existing systems so that you still effectuate change and maximize engagement while not throwing everything out and sort of starting from a clean slate.

Michael: And I just want to say that, remember journey maps are living, breathing documents that need to be nurtured. They should always be accessible to everybody internally. So, don’t hide it in the back room or anything like that, keep it in the forefront, and keep it up to date.

Craig: Yeah. Abby, do you have anything to add to that?

Abbey: I think kind of Deborah and Yuri hit on the point that I had, which was it can be a good bargaining chip. So if you have a project that you think that multiple people think would be really beneficial doing something, it doesn’t have to be as built out as what we just showed you. It can be two people in a room trying to come up with the experience and highlight some pain points to be able to leverage some of those ideas within a large executive meeting or something like that to make sure people can understand where you’re trying to go and where you’re coming from, and have some pretty cold, hard facts in the background to help back you up.

Craig: Right. All right, well, thank you all Abby, and Deborah for the presentation, and Yuri and Michael for jumping into the Q&A. We put in the chat our feedback survey for the attendees. If you have a couple of minutes, we’d love to get your feedback on our webinar. And we’ll be sending out to you all, a follow up email that just has a link to the recording as well as the PDF of the presentation. And we’ll be doing webinars like this on a semi-regular cadence. Our next one that we’re working on his UX strategy sprint, and that’s a way to take the next step and look at how to gain alignment on a product vision and move things forward. Thinking about things from a different perspective and coming up with perhaps the North Star concept that your team can all align on. So, I don’t know if that’s what the title will end up being, but that’s what a UX strategy sprint is ultimately for. So with that, we want to thank all of you for attending and hope that you have a great rest of your week.