Emotional Journey

Analyse how the user perception changes throughout a service experience.

applied for


Service Staff




also called

Journey Map

what is it

The emotional journey is an extension of the usual experience journey map (or customer journey map) that associates an indication of the emotional status of the user at each stage of the experience. The emotion can be represented by a curve floating from moments of frustration to delight, or by adding emojis and pictograms to the specific steps of the journey.

use it to

Add a more qualitative dimension to the analysis of the functional experience.

remember to

Give it enough space in the map, to immediately guide the journey understanding.

Preview image of the template for Emotional Journey

case studies


feature image of 'Designing an indoor wayfinding system for hospitals' case study

Example by Yang Hai

Designing an indoor wayfinding system for hospitals

Visualise and address key emotional moments in the user journey


Rochester Regional Health challenged Ally agency to conceptualize a better indoor wayfinding system for hospitals driven by augmented reality technology. Being a highly complex space, such a problem pushed designers to consider an intuitive and sensitive end to end solution. They identified and visualized key emotional moments in the user’s journey in order to craft an experience around it.

what is interesting

The approach helped identifying in the first phase of the user’s journey the need to provideconfidence in exploring the hospital (to find the check-in spot). Right after, the second moment needs to provide instead more freedom in moving around, as the level of anxiety is decreased after the check-in registration.

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feature image of 'Understanding the treatment journey and empathising with breast cancer patients' case study

Example by Spotless

Understanding the treatment journey and empathising with breast cancer patients

How to collect patients feelings and guide the conversation around treatment and post-treatment pathways


Journey maps allow us to see an end-to-end experience as a holistic journey. This tool can help designers make sense of complex systems and processes, as well as visualising the more human elements of a journey, e.g. what they are feeling at each moment.

For one of our health clients, we decided to use this tool in an unconventional way. Typically, it’s used within the sense-making phase, after all the research has been conducted. In this case we wanted to use it as a research method itself, getting patients to fill out their own individual emotional journeys to gain a personal insight into their experiences with Cancer and to help guide the conversation around their treatment and post-treatment path.

As we had a tight timeline, we needed to think of a research plan that was effective and quick, yet sensitive to our participants’ experiences and diagnoses. We decided to use these emotion maps as individual exercises within a group workshop with eight patients. It allowed us as researchers and designers to understand each individuals experience of cancer in 1-on-1 chats, but then bring the discussion together as a group to find commonalities/differences within the groups collective experience.

what is interesting

Through this engagement, we found several pain-points, such as a general need for less medical and more layman’s terminology and patients wanting full transparency and control of their medicine and potential side effects. Spotless found that there was a need for communication beyond clinical treatments and not only targeting the patients but also to the carers and the support group surrounding them.

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