MediaLAB Amsterdam

Emotional journey

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An emotional journey is a visualization that maps and illustrates a user’s emotional experience through the experience of interacting with an organization, product or brand.



To identify how people feel during the experience of using your services.

Allows the design team to understand where to improve the experience.



1. Organize a space, materials and participants for the session.

2. Define the activity for which you want to map out the emotional journey. For example, it could be a person’s ride on the subway while heading home.

3. Collect the internal insights of the team, based on previous research and experiences.

4. Map out the journey and mark the different touch points where the user comes in contact with the product/service/brand/organization.

5. If you have developed various personas, make sure that you develop a journey for each of them. Each experience will be different.

6. Use a line graph to mark underneath the journey to mark the moments users feel excited and moments where they feel frustrated.

7. Analyze the results of mapping the journey.


Emotional journeys depend on good research.


A mapped out overview of how someone feels while doing something. A look inside the ‘emotional rollercoaster’.


Analyse the peaks and lows, improve where needed.

Tips for running this activity online

  • Pick an online whiteboard tool that allows you to use a large, zoomable canvas.
  • Draw the emotional journey in the collaborative space and invite users to add comments as sticky notes.
  • When facilitating group discussion, we’d recommend that participants use non-verbal means to indicate they’d like to speak. You can use tools like Zoom’s nonverbal feedback tools, a reaction emoji, or just have people put their hands up.The facilitator can then invite that person to talk.
  • If you’re not using an online whiteboard, we’d recommend the facilitator draw the emotional journey digitally or on paper and screenshare the image for participants to discuss. 


Source: MediaLAB Amsterdam

REFERENCE: BROWN, Tim. Change by design. 2009.

Comments (2) (1.0 avg / 1 ratings)

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  • From the description I am not clear about how to run this. It seems a bit implicit for facilitators who have run this before.

    over 4 years ago
  • is there an example of this that can be made available ?

    over 6 years ago