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Understanding User Journeys with Real-World Examples - Derek Siu Headshot smiling

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Derek Siu

User experience (UX) design is critical for creating websites and applications that are not only functional but also enjoyable to use. A key component of UX design is understanding the user journey – the path a user takes to achieve their goals on your platform. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of user journeys, delve into success states, and provide real-world examples, including a case study on SM Ice Skating.

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Why User Journeys Matter

User journeys map out the steps users take from the moment they land on your site to the point where they achieve their goal. This could be anything from purchasing a product to filling out a contact form. By understanding these journeys, designers can identify pain points and opportunities to enhance the user experience.

Key Components of a User Journey

  1. Awareness: The user becomes aware of your site or product.
  2. Consideration: The user explores options and considers engaging with your product.
  3. Conversion: The user takes the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  4. Retention: The user returns and becomes a repeat customer.

Success States in UX

Success states are moments when users achieve their goals within your product. These are crucial touchpoints in the user journey that can significantly impact user satisfaction and loyalty. Examples include:

  • Successful form submission: Displaying a clear confirmation message when a user submits a contact form.
  • Purchase confirmation: Providing a detailed receipt and thank-you message after a transaction.
  • Profile update success: Informing users that their profile changes have been saved successfully.

Real-World Examples

  1. Contact Form Success States:
    • When a user fills out a contact form, a well-designed success state might include a thank-you message and a brief explanation of what happens next. For instance, "Thank you for reaching out! We will get back to you within 24 hours."
  2. Restaurant Booking Confirmation:
    • After booking a table at a restaurant online, the success state could include the booking details, a thank-you note, and perhaps even a discount code for their next visit.
  3. Case Study: SM Ice Skating:
    • Background: SM Ice Skating is a popular recreational venue looking to enhance its online booking system.
    • User Journey: From landing on the homepage to booking a skating session.
    • Pain Points Identified: Users were often confused about session times and available slots.
    • Solutions Implemented: The website now features a clear, step-by-step booking process with visual indicators of available slots. Success states include detailed booking confirmations and reminders sent via email and SMS.

Enhancing Your UX Design

To create effective user journeys and success states, consider the following tips:

  • User Research: Conduct surveys, interviews, and usability tests to understand user needs and pain points.
  • Clear Navigation: Ensure that users can easily find what they're looking for with intuitive navigation and clear calls to action.
  • Consistent Feedback: Provide immediate and clear feedback for user actions, such as form submissions or purchases.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly update your design based on user feedback and emerging UX trends.


Mastering user experience design involves understanding and optimizing the user journey, as well as creating impactful success states. By applying these principles, you can significantly enhance user satisfaction and drive engagement. Use real-world examples and case studies, like the improvements made for SM Ice Skating, to guide your UX design efforts.

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