User trip map

Take a user trip


The ‘user trip’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.


A structured user trip lets you walk in your target audience’s shoes and experience the world from their perspective. The technique provides a useful framework for immersion into an issue and drawing insights from self-observation.


How you go about your user trip will very much depend on the situation and your preferences. There are no hard and fast rules beyond simply taking the journey as a “user”, then reflecting on it.


To get most out of the exercise, split a user trip down into three phases:

1: Set-up a journey map

To start, map out a user storyline related to your issue, breaking it down into the key stages of the route or journey.


Be explicit about who’s shoes you will be walking in. Define the role, persona or point-of-view that you will take for this trip and the context for the story.


The journey map worksheet is a useful template to draw key points in your planned trip. You can download the worksheets below.

User trip map
User trip: journey map worksheet

2: Perform and reflect

Run through the whole scenario. Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan; just keep going from beginning to end.


Once completed, reflect on your experience using the refection worksheet. This helps you focus on key aspects through the journey.

User trip refection canvas
User trip: refection worksheet

For each stage in the journey think about:

Information and signage

How well informed or guided did you feel? What knowledge gaps or difficulties did you face?

Choices and decisions

What were the decision points in the process? What facilitated or hindered them?

Actions and interactions

What actions did you take. How easy where they to perform? What feedback did you get during the process?

Feelings and emotions

What emotions did you feel throughout? What aspects, if any, made you feel better or worse?

Desired and undesired outcomes

What was the result and what different outcomes would you like? Are there any immediate changes you could make?

3: Vary and repeat

Repeat the exercise several times. If possible, change aspects of the scenario and the persona  to gain varying perspectives.



The user trip worksheets are included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques.

Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.


    Keep in touch

    We would like to send occasional updates about the PLAYBOOK and PermissionToPlay:

    Yes, keep me updated by email

    You can change your mind at any time by clicking unsubscribe in our emails. For more information see our privacy policy. By clicking below you agree to these terms.