Bringing together personas, jobs to be done, and customer journey maps

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Is this something you’ve been wanting to do? Here’s how these three tools fit together, in one diagram (and some supporting paragraphs of text).

I’ve tried to keep this as jargon-free as possible.

What’s the difference?

Personas provide humanizing context. What kind of emotional experiences does the person want? What is their social and physical environment?

Job to be done provides the functional steps toward the desired outcome, and how you know if the user has achieved their desired end goal.

A journey map provides the framework that holds it all together, and allows you to view the human context and the functional desires over the timeline of your choice.

As a reminder, all of these tools should be based firmly in qualitative (and, if you have it, quantitative) research.

Do you need jobs, personas, AND journeys?

It depends.

Without personas, jobs bury emotional and social needs under a thick layer of functional analysis. Jobs quickly become cold, clinical, and divorced from the kind of humanity that inspires creativity.

Without an anchor in the desired outcomes of jobs, personas can sway easily into the troubling realms of unrealistically specific, overly vague, biased, or just completely prejudiced.

Without journeys, it’s easy to get lost in details and lose sight of both the scope of experience you’re focusing on, and the scope of experience you may have intentionally or unintentionally set aside.

There are many other factors to consider, and this post is in no way exhaustive.

So what?

As with all of design, there’s no one true answer. Choose your poison carefully, and let us know how it goes! If you need help, we offer both public and private training on personas and journey mapping.

Shahrzad Samadzadeh

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