The User's Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love

The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love

Like a good story, successful design is a series of engaging moments structured over time. The User’s Journey will show you how, when, and why to use narrative structure, technique, and principles to ideate, craft, and test a cohesive vision for an engaging outcome. See how a “story first” approach can transform your product, feature, landing page, flow, campaign, content, or product strategy.


  • File Size: 8623 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Rosenfeld Media; 1 edition (March 22, 2016)
  • Publication Date: March 22, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01D95U8UO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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  1. In our every day lives, we are consumed with sending and receiving messages whether written or verbal. Can we honestly remember everything that’s been pitched to us during the course of a week? The problem with retaining most of the messages we receive is that they aren’t memorable. Donna Lichaw’s, The User’s Journey, teaches its readers to make your message interesting and memorable.

    I have found this book helpful in learning the importance of a narrative. When we speak, when we present to a client, or when we write a proposal, having a story with a strong narrative makes it a more memorable experience than just presenting cold hard facts.

    While the synopsis on Amazon presents this as a book for product designers, The User’s Journey actually takes an approach to teaching its methods that’s not as esoteric as one might think. In fact, The User’s Journey can be applied to a much broader audience. Whether you’re a writer, a business owner, a designer, a consultant, a strategist, a teacher, or just someone who has to make a presentation, there are many different ways of applying what Lichaw has to share in her book.

    You may have the most ingenious idea, the best research, the best service, or the best product, but without presenting a strong narrative and a story people can remember and relate to, your efforts may be overlooked.

  2. I’ve read a LOT of books on Story, and while they are great for writing books or giving presentations, they never made sense for designing great products. This book changed that.
    Lichaw explains story succinctly and clearly, then shows how to use it to build the right product and make the users the hero of her own story.
    Also, delightful art!

  3. I work with companies to help them define their message, and I’ve already found this book to be a valuable tool. Donna explains how to use the simple, yet powerful structure of a story to identify what is compelling about a product or service or company – and why it matters to people.

    The simplicity of the method is key – you don’t have to have special software or advanced design skills or anything of that sort to start using it right away. If you can draw a line, you’re good to go.

    It’s a great resource for people who work in communications, product design, and/or user experience. You’ll get a smart, flexible framework that makes it well worth the purchase.

  4. Combining her experience in filming and product development, Donna has captured a simple, yet compelling method for creating user stories that is worth practicing on every product team. She uses relevant examples from both film/TV and digital products to demonstrate how and why story is such an important part of the design process. I appreciated her use of popular media like Back to the Future and Breaking Bad or tech products like the iPhone, Pintrest, and Twitter. These ubiquitous examples that everyone is familiar with makes it easy to follow without her having to explain the context.

    As I was reading this book, I was also starting a project for a brand new product with several different use cases. I decided to employ the principles from the book right from day one to map out all the stories we wanted to address with this product. The result was a well-defined arc for every user, written in a way that effectively created a vision for the product that our stakeholders could get on-board with. The book was influential in helping our team create these stories. It’s really easy, when you have the right structure and methodology.

    One of the best takeaways for me, was an example from FitCounter where Donna demonstrates how the analytics themselves told a different story than the one they would have written. While I have always said things like “the data tells a story” I have never actually overlaid the data on top of a story arc the way she does in the book. I’m accustomed to writing stories at the beginning of a new project, but not during the course of existing projects. That simple illustration connected all the dots for me.Read more ›

  5. The book is easy to read and the content is extremely useful. There are a lot of books out there that look at narrative and story, some more complex, some less – this one is all about applying ideas in practical ways. Its valuable stuff, and its very accessible.

  6. This book is a clear and through introduction to the world of ‘story’, and how thinking about stories can help us improve user’s journeys. We’ve already started using some of the methods in this book to solve some pain points in our products, and expect to be using the book again and again in future!

  7. Awesome book. It provides three story frameworks to test your business and optimize for user experience and branding. At least that’s what I took from it. I highly recommend this book to entrepreneurs, branding peeps, ux designers or copywriters.

  8. The pictures used in the kindle version are so low resolution that they are unviewable and unreadable. I’m only three chapters in, but I was compelled to write this review because a screenshot of an email was used as an example of an origin story, but I am unable to read the example. Kindle books are commonly read on high-res devices these days, and the images used in kindle books should be optimized for such devices.

    I have to give the Kindle version one star because of this oversight, otherwise The User’s Journey would be at least 4/5, maybe even 5/5 when I finish.

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