Story Map vs. Journey Map – Similarities and Differences

Many people get confused when it comes to which map is suitable for them in analyzing a customer experience, whether it is a story map or a journey map. Recently both of these maps have gained massive popularity in the corporate sector, but they have some slight differences that set them apart. This article is all about Story Maps vs. Journey Maps and what they are all about. We will be dealing with a brief analysis of both of these maps and what they generally offer to project teams. 

Story Maps Explained

Story mapping is an incredibly easy option when looking to map out a customer experience. The whole process revolves around arranging specific stories one by one to give a detailed and holistic view of how things went for users about a particular item or a product. These stories are used to analyze where the products were effective, what led to customers interacting with the product and future possibilities. 

Story Mapping Epics

Story maps are based on fundamental steps labeled as epics. These epics are arranged in a sequence or a chronological order centered around the experience a customer had to complete their journey with a product. 

These epics can either be an individual or collective experience and can later be merged into the map according to the preference of the project team. Story maps are used to see the complete visualization of a customer’s story with a specific brand or item and the overall objectives of that interaction. 

Significance of Story Mapping

Story maps help portray the complete picture of how a product operates, the customer’s goals in their interaction, and the specific stages they took en route to completion. Further, it explains the basic improvements and necessities needed from the customer’s perspective. 

It helps identify the areas where the team should focus more to complete their user engagement goals and how your internal priorities fit with the user’s priorities. With a story map, you can elaborate the complete sequence of your product and its user relations, and you can easily spot future opportunities for your brand. These are some of the biggest advantages of choosing a story map, and now we’ll discuss the same thing for journey maps.

Journey Maps

Journey maps detail a user-based persona and their experience with your product. They integrate exact data on a customer’s journey with your product, what they felt about the item initially, and how they feel about it now. Where user mapping focuses strictly on the stages of the journey, journey maps create more room for the user’s emotional state in this process. 

Journey maps are made up of 5 main elements, 

Actors or Subjects

An actor or subject is that entity in the journey map upon which the whole analysis is centered. It can be a customer, a specific persona, or an aggregate group of users. 


This is a section about the particular timeline of a journey map. How the actors or subjects were expecting, and what were the outcomes. Expectations are changeable and can be influenced by market trends. 

Phases or Paradigms 

These are the categories in which the journey lasted or took place. These represent the distinct phases along the journey and will each contain multiple different points of action.

Actions, Mindsets, and Emotions

These three nontangible elements are present in each phase of the journey map. For instance, actions are the driving force for stages. On the other hand, mindsets build thoughts and expectations, and expectations can be detected throughout the journey map by analyzing the user’s goals. Finally, journey maps emphasize emotions, which are reflected on a dynamic line chart displaying how their emotional state changes with each phase of the journey.

Opportunities in Journey Map

With journey maps, you can analyze the market response to your product and what users think about it. You can easily detect the flaws in each phase and what led to those flaws. You can then execute each of your improving elements within every phase accordingly. You can track the efficacy of your changes by looking at the changes in the user’s emotional state. 

On top of this, you will be able to know what lies ahead for your brand and where you can have the maximum advantage in satisfying your customer. 

This shows some key differences compared to story maps because instead of focusing on detailed steps and action mapping, journey maps focus on the user’s emotions and goals to improve their experience.


Both journey maps and story maps are great tools for people who want to have an in-depth analysis of market trends, customer reviews, and journeys. In order to make them, however, you need to have a solid idea of how to build them. If this article was helpful, make sure you check out some of the unique pieces of story maps.

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