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Mind the Gap: Dev Journey Tube Map

Developer Journey Map similar to London Tube Map

Take a ride on a subway and you realize how complex its infrastructure can be. Depending on where you’re going, your journey may not be straightforward. For example, you can choose different lines, get on and off at different stations, and even switch between lines at station interchanges. In addition, unexpected friction, such as station closures, lines under maintenance, or overloaded trains, can alter or slow your journey.

To navigate these complexities, you need a good map. The iconic London Underground map enables any subway commuter to navigate the system with just three pieces of information:

  • Start and final destination stations

  • Line(s) connecting the start and destination

  • Direction to travel, established by identifying the final station on a given line

A Great Map for a Great Journey

Like a subway, your developer journey can be a complex system of non-linear paths with hidden friction. So we thought it would be fun to create an example developer journey in the form of a tube map – let us know what you think!  

Like traveling on a subway, a developer might pass through a few touch points in Discovery before jumping to Evaluation. In this phase, they might crisscross touch points from others, before advancing to the next phase. Sometimes, a developer might bypass Evaluate to get to Learn and Build quickly, returning to Evaluate after they’ve built a proof of concept. In other cases, a developer might start in Learn and proceed to Build, because their manager has already completed Discover and Evaluate. 

Along the way, developers can experience countless types of friction. Poor SEO, bad documentation, and gated trial access are just a few examples that can change or even halt a developer’s journey with your product. In the worst case, friction can result in losing a potential customer. Thus, identifying the gap between your intended and actual developer journey is critical.

That’s why we created the Developer Journey map (see below) – to give the DevRel community a standardized tool to design, analyze, and understand developer journeys.

Developer Journey Map

Over the past few years, our Developer Journey Map has grown in popularity and many of our peers have told us they printed it out and posted it on their walls.

Now, we’ve created a free interactive version in FigJam, to make your developer journey design and maintenance easier and more collaborative.

Developer Journey Map on Figma

It’s a drag-and-drop solution. To use it, drag touch points into each of the stages and make the connections between them. We’ve included instructions to help you through the process.

With that in mind, we’d like to leave you with a few tips on using it to design, analyze, and improve your developer journey:

  • Categorize touch points that you think most strongly reflect each stage. For example, Sign up/Registration and Blogs might fit best in your Evaluate phase, rather than Learn and Discover.

  • Conduct an audit to see how your target developers traverse the touch points and record this journey by dragging arrow connectors between touch points.

Note: A lot of crisscrossing may not indicate a bad journey, but may indicate that your signposting needs attention.

  • Color the touchpoints to visually highlight their effectiveness based on your audit findings. Apply a color that reflects the best average for a touchpoint. For example, a touchpoint with only a couple of red issues, but many yellows, might be best represented as yellow. The color coding provides a high-level glimpse on each touchpoint’s overall contribution to the journey. We use the following color codes:

    • Green: Good or well done.

    • Yellow/Orange: Minor issues.

    • Red: Major issues.

  • Make a new copy of the template with each audit, so you can easily compare maps between audits and, hopefully, see improvements

Discuss your Developer Journey with us Today!

Assessing and managing your developer journey takes time and commitment. We are deft at using the developer journey map as the basis for our Developer Experience Audits and can help you gain additional insight into your developer journey. We take on your target developer personas, traverse your developer journey, and provide a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations you can implement to improve your developer journey.

Book a meeting with us today, to find out how we can help you support your developers’ journeys, no matter where they’re headed.


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