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Journey map design

There are different ways for you to customize your journey map and to add details and highlights.

Smaply lanes

First of all and most importantly: please be aware that each lane of Smaply only defines the type of the lane – i.e., what kind of information you want to have in there. Might it be text, pictures, graphs or files. E.g. you can use a text lane for adding ideas instead of a step description, as the title suggest. You can use a second storyboard lane to add any kind of images, e.g. charts or screenshots giving more insights into the specific step. You can add as many lanes as you want, you can also add the same lane type two or more times and rename them however you want.

These are the lane types available:

  • Stages define the basic structure of an experience (more)
  • Outline is the place where you can manage the structure of your journey map (more)
  • Steps are the single experiences your customer has (more)
  • Text allows you to describe each step in more detail (more)
  • Storyboards visually represent the sequence of steps through icons, photos of real-life situations or enacted situations, screenshots of interfaces, or just quick scribbles visualizing specific situations (more)
  • Channels (e.g., face-to-face, telephone, online, etc.) are crucial to understand a customer uses at each step helps us understand cross-channel experiences and potential gaps regarding cross-channel experiences (more)
  • Emotional journeys are graphs representing a persona’s level of satisfaction at each step (more)
  • Dramatic arcs are graphs showing the level of a persona’s engagement, arousal or importance at each step (more)
  • Backstage lanes show internal activities and processes that are not visible to the user (more)
  • File lanes can be used to attach relevant documents to your journey map (more)
  • Separator lanes help to bring more structure to the map (more)
  • Live data lane allows you to connect a step to an external source of data like a Google Spreadsheet. (more)
  • Journey map link lane allows you to connect a step with related journey maps. (more)

Journey info - Metadata

You can add a text description to your journey map as an additional info. It will also appear in your exported journey map.

Emojis and symbols

Emojis and symbols can help highlight specific facts and make it easier to make sense of a journey map (more).

Highlighting fields

You can highlight text (use the rich text editor), steps / single fields, or stages. 

Adding Links 

Linking other resources like interviews, articles, data files etc. helps to add details and also helps to zoom in or zoom out of journey maps. (more)


Keeping gaps between steps also helps to structure a journey map, e.g. align specific experiences of two personas. You can insert gaps by moving the cursor between two fields and click the plus symbol that appears.

Colour picker

Using colour picker helps to visually distinguish between stages and also steps. You can use it to point out problems, challenges, improvements by using different colours.

You can add your colour by RGB or HEX code and for the ENTERPRISE plan we offer corporate colours which can be saved as a default colour set.

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