A user journey involves a series of steps that signify a simulation of how a user may interact with the UX design. They are usually used for two main things. Firstly for demonstrating how users currently interact with the design and secondly how users could interact with the design. Storyboarding is similar to developing architectural drawings. It will visualize how the design will look like while focusing on efficiency, functionality and structure.
There are many benefits of using user journeys:
Basically, user journeys are storyboards with one or more frames describing how a user will interact with the design and how they will benefit from it. The experience can further be deepened by using empathy mapping.
Both user journey and storyboards are highly effective in UX design because they put designers and developers in the shoes of the user and learn how they will experience the design – before and after deployment. When you use them, you will get a better understand of what is crucial for the users when interacting with the design. This understanding helps in developing and implementing better ideas.
User journey can be seen as a more detailed flow of the user’s activities. On the other hand, storyboards give a rougher picture of the user’s activities. While the former captures several touch points, the latter covers the pain points. You could use any of these techniques depending on the amount of detailed information you want to capture.
User journeys provide you with the overall picture of the user activities with the design. They will usually be taking place in the initial part of the project to discover or during the requirements gathering stage. This will help in visualizing the user requirements and get information about other design activities including wireframing or information architecture. But they could also be used during latter stages when exploring functionality in detailed form. These two techniques can thus be quite beneficial in UX design.