How to Use the Tools

Tools such as journey maps and personas can provide a shared view of user goals, as well as a common framework to guide design decisions.


Designers say, "When we design for everyone, we design for no one." Using personas and a journey map, a team can break down the design of a complex multi-channel service with a large potential user group — say, 8 million+ New Yorkers! — into a set of more specific design questions around well-defined goals and behavior patterns.

By exploring the needs of specific user clusters at different points in their service journey, product owners can identify opportunities and trade-offs required to help users accomplish their goals. We recommend that this process of exploration occur at each phase of the product development cycle, from 1) concepting to 2) testing to 3) scaling, as described below. 

You're invited to download and use the tools, both of which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.





During preliminary concepting, personas and journey maps can help identify people to interview and decide what questions to ask. For instance, if MHA wanted to conduct user research around a web search tool, the personas could help suggest what kinds of people to recruit for research activities, and the journey map phases could provide a framework for a research script or stimuli.





Personas and journey maps are particularly helpful during the testing phase. A team may know generally that they want to improve a particular tool or service. Using personas and the journey map, the team can generate a first ‘dummy’ set of prototypes or wireframes, responding to a particular type of user at a particular moment in their service journey. These prototypes offer a starting point for collaborative design with real end-users.

As co-design and iterative prototyping proceeds, the team can keep checking new designs against the personas and map before putting the designs in front of real users. This double-check may reveal gaps in functionality or delight.





Finally, during scaling, the team deploys and evaluates a new tool or service. Personas and journey maps can help a delivery team develop a comprehensive or step-by-step theory of change, identify potential control and test user groups for service trials, evaluate how well a test worked in various service interactions, and target the roll-out of scaled-up programs by user group or phase.