Red route usability: The key user journeys with your web site
Important roads in London are known as 'red routes' and Transport for London do everything in their power to make sure passenger journeys on these routes are completed as smoothly and quickly as possible. Define thered routes for your web site and you'll be able to identify and eliminate any usability obstacles on the key user journeys.
By David Travis

Today, I’m demoing the initial navigation plans for the Active Living Redesign. I’ve created 3 templates as shown in the photo.

The first template is the “Start Page”, which displays tiles of categories or groupings that will help the user filter down to what they want.

The second template is the “Filter Page”, which guides the user in looking for his goal. The filter page recurs until the user has clicked a specific program. There are three parts to this page: filters, suggestions, and narrow-further. The “filters” shows the filters they have applied. The suggestions shows the list of programs that could be potentially what they want. And finally, the narrow-further enables them to narrow down the search results.

The last page is the “Details Page”, which shows more information on a specific program and the sections within the program. This is the page where they can choose a section to register in.

These templates will be validated using the Personas I’ve defined in the previous article. The User Journey method will be used to help validate these pages. For a refresher, here they are again:

User Types

  1. Users who are browsing around looking for general information. (Bill)
  2. Users who are looking for something, but not exactly sure how to find it. (Amy)
  3. Users who know exactly what they are looking for. (Chelsea)

User Journeys

Bill is interested in sports, and wants to find out what the University’s Active Living has to offer him. So he pays their website a visit.

  1. Arrives at the Start Page.
  2. Chooses “Ball Games”.
  3. Chooses “Intramurals”.
  4. Notices that there are five Activities suggested that are classified as “Ball Game” and “Intramural”
  5. Chooses “Basketball”
  6. Information is displayed for “Basketball” including Sections that he can register

Amy has a little sister that is interested in climbing. She has heard about the Active Living’s summer camps and wants to know if she can register her little sister in a climbing camp.

  1. Arrives at the Start Page.
  2. Chooses “Camps”
  3. Chooses “Climbing”
  4. Notices that there are 5 Program Groups suggestions that are shown for “Camps” and “Climbing”
  5. Chooses “Outdoor Centre”
  6. Notices that there are a few suggestions for “Camps”, “Climbing”, and “Outdoor Centre”.
  7. Chooses “Complete Rock Intro”
  8. Information is displayed for “Complete Rock Intro” as well as the sections that she can register.

Chelsea is an avid yoga practitioner and is interested in registering for a yoga course with Active Living. She found out about the course through their magazine.

  1. Arrives at the “Start Page”
  2. Types “Yoga Flow” in the search box and presses the search button
  3. Notices that “Yoga Flow” at the top of the search result
  4. Chooses “Yoga Flow”
  5. Information is displayed for “Yoga Flow” including sections that she can register in.

I realize the steps here might not make sense to anyone but that’s because the spreadsheet of sample data is needed in order to traverse through the decision tree with the filters.

If the clients like the idea, my goal is then to create some interactive wireframes so I can validate these designs with the users. It might be a challenge to find the students, now that the school year is over.. We’ll see!

User Research Study : customer experience journey

Here is a visual from the research study that I recently did for the Walmart / Bluebird product. After conducting ethnography and interviews, I analyzed the data using affinity diagramming. The users emotions at each stage were also documented to reflect a complete experiential journey.


Para tener más clara la estructura de nuestra web y sus distintas secciones, es muy útil imaginarse el “camino” que va a recorrer UN TIPO DETERMINADO de usuario al utilizar nuestra web. Para ello hemos dividido el camino en tres etapas claras : PLANIFICAR / EJECUTAR RUTA / COMPARTIR. Dentro de cada etapa hemos añadido las distintas acciones que realizará este tipo de usuario.

SharePoint and User Journeys

Join Dachis Group London for the second in their ‘Making SharePoint More Social’ series.

We will be exploring building user journeys for SharePoint.

SharePoint and User Journeys

One of the hardest pieces of communication in any SharePoint project is describing to end users, what SharePoint is there to do. Technologists happily talk about it as a content management system, a collaboration platform or a document and records management system, but none of these take an end user on a journey that they can understand, or engage with.

User journeys are an excellent tool which, when used well, can help conceptualise the interactions a user will undergo in their day to day work with the system, how it will change how they do their job and make things better.

During this session we will look at some of the tools you can use to build user journeys, what role they play in a project, look at some examples and design some of your own!

This session is aimed at practitioners from information, communications and IT who are working with, or are looking at SharePoint as a possible platform for collaboration, information management, document management or as a social intranet.

The event will take place on 24th May 2012 at 6pm, with drinks beforehand starting at 5.15pm and after until 7pm.

Arthur Mwai has analyzed the User Experience of e-citizen services related to business registration in Kenya. He takes us on the customer journey with him, first through the brick and mortar Huduma Center, and then, the internet version, - an app that offered single window to a variety of government services.

Frustrated with the experience, he recognized that these problems would be an even greater challenge to small trader or businesswoman. And so, proceeded to redesign one aspect - business registration service - from the perspective of the wananchi. As he says:

Although the government’s heart is on the right path with regard to digitization, we need to pay more focus on UX, bad UX actually kills, no pun intended.

What a wasted opportunity.

Time and resources invested in this great step forward by the government aren’t maximizing the return on investment if they’re not designed for needs and constraints of the majority of the citizens.

Further, this could have been a wonderful opportunity to offer a path to formalization to the vast informal sector of the economy which provides incomes to somewhere around 80% of the working age population.

Exploring the value creation of applying people centred design thinking, such as Arthur has done, to the provision of public services is even more critical for the less well off countries in the world who must make every penny count.

Story centred design

In college, I mostly designed posters, book covers took photographs and produced lots of other single screen product solutions.Our tools were Illustrator and Photoshop, both being great programs for creating single page solutions. It was easy to critique the work as the testing method was so similar to the product itself. A general audience with different views coming up to a piece of work they had not seen before and looked at t for just a few minutes. 

Size isn’t necessarily a big issue as what you see in a studio is pretty similar to the end product on the street. When I moved to Dublin to pursue art direction in advertising, I continued to work this way: I would draw a simple scene, or maybe a set of scenes in the case of an digital display storyboard, and showed that set to the team. It feels very natural this screen centred design approach which offers the illusion of more control over the solution.

Unfortunately this approach does not work for digital design.

The moment you start building a product that has multiple screens and hundreds of states, you can’t hold the whole product in your head as a single scene. Pretty soon you’ll be sending work for review to get the wider teams input and you’ll find they begin to separate the screens and refers to them individually and not looking at the product and the features as a whole.

No all users will experience the digital display in real life. People use and engage with products and their content in little bursts that last anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. They’re access point of entry will be varied and as digital and instructional designer we need to be prepared to engage the user from anywhere. These little user journeys and stories craft a users experience of a product.  screens are not simply stories but a way to carry the information to the user.

If teams don’t pay attention to these stories and be all on the same page then you’ll all be in different minds to the user and it will be difficult to craft a seamless story for the consumer.

There are 4 ways to encourage story centred design focus when working on a product.

Storyboard before you scribble

Create a storyboard, that depicts one user’s story of the product, that’s vital to it’s success. you can treat each frame on a storyboard to a screen interface however sometimes abstract is better as it allows for more brainstorming on paper to solve the issue. its easier to discard a weak idea if it took you only 2 seconds to create. Equally you can have each frame hold an interaction feature such as user clicks or swipes.

Render the full story in fireworks

Using Photoshop is fine however the process can get lengthy with larger amounts of frames. Luckily Fireworks has features such as built in pages, symbols, find and replace features and high fidelity options.

Review stories on paper

When it’s time to review designs with the team, it’s better to print out all the screens in a story, and lay them out on a table or on a wall. by seeing it this way in story they can examine the transitions and review each frame in detail. This route is great for developers or project managers which just want to see features and user interactions. its also a great opportunity to take notes in real time on each frame for any amends.

Record a screencast instead of sending a mock up

Start recording stories with screen flow. Its less painful and more enjoyable for the receiver to read and understand.  Since each screen will already be built in Fireworks, you can just pretend to click where the user would click, flip to the next screen, and describe to the camera what’s happening. Its also a great tool for gathering feedback.

It can be hard to make changes in your process, especially if your not the only member working on the job. But take it step by step and you can surprise yourself with how easy it is to transition to this method of thinking and working.


This is it, the end of the Windows 10 Saga! Thank you so much for being with me on this journey.

Some users have been experiencing issues with Windows 10, here is a handy list of things for you to try:

Windows 10 Download Tool

WinBeta article on re-starting downloads