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Customer & Beneficiary Journey Maps

PORTFOLIO: Project 7

Project Summary

Journey mapping is an increasingly standard UX technique. A journey map is a visual representation of a user’s interaction with a product or process which allows us to really put all of the users, both external and internal, into the equation. Two maps in which I assisted in the planning and creation of for the Social Security Administration are the: Customer Engagement Journey Map, and the Beneficiary Journey Map.

My Roles

UX Designer: Collaboration with the team to plan and brainstorm and create affinity diagrams, sketching, designing in Illustrator 

Customer Engagement Journey Map

The purpose of this map was convey a future vision that highlighted how both existing and proposed future technologies could be implemented into the journeys of both external and internal users. The proposed future technologies included:

  • Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA)

  • Universal Customer Support or UCS

  • Kiosk technology

  • Voice of the Customer (collecting user feedback for continuous improvement)


I worked on this project two other team members. One of our first steps was to select two personas on which to base the journey: a customer and an SSA service representative. They were selected from personas previously created for the SSA: Hilda, a small business owner; and Miguel, a Customer Service Representative. Personas are an ideal way to put a face and real understanding of users into decision-making and bring the stories to life. For this project, that story was: Hilda is working on her taxes and notices that her reported earnings are incorrect. The map details the actions of both Hilda and Miguel as they work to resolve the issue.


We incorporated a wide range of data including the actions of both personas, their thoughts and feelings, environments, and channels/touchpoints all throughout the process.

First research was compiled on the problem being presented in the map. We worked with subject matter experts to identify what steps or actions a customer could take to correct the issue as well as what steps or actions a service representative would take to help the customer. Key touchpoints were also identified including phone, computer, field office, kiosk, etc.


Then we took all of the information we had gathered and used both sketching and affinity diagrams to create conceptual models for both personas. Once the concept was nailed down, I was assigned the task of designing and the creating the map in Adobe Illustrator to bring our ideas to life.

Beneficiary Journey Map

For this project project the goal was to create a high level overview of how a beneficiary could interact with SSA throughout their lifetime, from birth to death. The map was created specifically for, and presented to, the newly appointed CIO of SSA but will also be used to inform and train new employees. I worked with 2 other team members on this project as well.

We began by identifying the possible ways someone could interact with SSA, including: birth (obtaining a Social Security number); childhood disability; working and contributing earnings; adult disability; retirement and death. Then we researched each possible interaction to understand the basic steps both the beneficiary and SSA would need to complete. Timelines, outcomes and eligibility for each step is also depicted as well as when Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could be a benefit. Subject matter experts were consulted along the way to verify our understanding.


We then took all of the information we had gathered and created affinity diagrams to conceptualize the journey. I then used Adobe Illustrator to create the design the map.


Journey Map Images


The following images show the process for creating the Customer Engagement Journey Map, from one of the initial sketches, to affinity diagrams on white boards, to the final design. The process was similar for the Beneficiary Journey Map but those images are not included here.


Links to the final versions of the two maps:     Customer Engagement Journey Map (PDF)     |    Beneficiary Journey Map (PDF)

A look inside the project:

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