How to Use Customer Journey Maps to Improve Wellness Tech UX

By Helen King
February 16, 2024

Keeping the momentum when launching a new wellness tech product is undoubtedly important to getting to market efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, friction can bubble up when product teams have unanswered questions about users and how the product will fit into their lives. 

With all of the different priorities and moving parts of a product launch, the overall customer journey for wellness and health tech products can be overlooked, resulting in low adoption of what could otherwise be a valuable and impactful technology for users. 

The good news is that you can use strategies to uncover and shape the customer journey at any stage of developing your product to ensure the most important elements of the experience are accounted for and thoughtfully defined. 

Driving wellness tech product adoption through customer journey mapping

The road to launch for wellness and health tech products is often complicated by various system components. There can be device technology, a product interface and/or companion app to develop. Wellness tech product teams also have critical steps to consider before launch, like FDA review, that can constrain timelines.

At any moment in the development process, you may be making assumptions about how customers will use your wellness product. These assumptions can be necessary to move forward in the process but when kept unchecked, they can create bigger problems once the product is in your customers’ hands. At launch, the most eager consumers may purchase but you risk others not following suit because the product feels too complicated or disconnected from their current process or routine.

Mapping the customer journey can help debunk any stand-in assumptions and avoid a user experience that creates more frustration than delight. 

Defined customer journeys not only benefit your customers but your team by:

  • Understanding how the system components should work together
  • Anticipating user pain points and aligning on how to avoid them
  • Acting as due diligence for product refinements that can differentiate the product

When to create a wellness tech customer journey map

Being equipped with a customer journey map can help you anticipate the most important moments in your customers’ early use of the product, as well as the timing and circumstances that influence their experience and continued use over time. 

The first step is to determine where the biggest gaps are in your understanding of the customer journey. Depending on where you are in product development, you can leverage different research methods for exploring the journey with customers to fill those gaps.

During product discovery

While the product itself is still being defined, mapping out the customer’s current journey in the problem space, as well as the ideal journey with your product will create a vision of the most important aspects of the product experience to get right. Your team will have clarity on what the experience should be, and how it will impact your customers.

Creating a customer journey map at this phase, you’ll want to explore questions related to the general problem or opportunity space:

  • What are customers doing now?
  • What are their pain points?
  • When and how are they solving for their needs in this space?

To uncover these insights about your customers, you can leverage exploratory research methods like in-depth interviews or customer diary studies. While you may not have time for an extensive study, consider ways to right-size the research to give you a foundation to build upon and fill in with future research and phases of work. 

Working with the baby health tracking app Nara Baby, we fielded a survey and conducted follow-up interviews with existing tracking app users to understand their experiences. From the research, we mapped out phases of the user journey based on their baby’s age and the priorities that need to be supported in the app. As a result, we were able to design an MVP with clarity on key features and design details that would create a distinctive experience across the different journey stages.

During concept exploration

If your product is in the concept phase, creating a customer journey map can help you get a read on the direction your product is taking and identify gaps in the experience that need to be defined. Customer journeys at this phase are particularly important for products with different system components that work together, are specific to a particular context of use, or represent a new product category.

With these types of products, the customer journey can be complex so using a prototype will help move from a high-level, ideal journey to a detailed journey reflecting more concrete aspects of the experience.

When creating journey during the concept phase, you can explore questions related to the product and its use:

  • What are customers’ impression of the product and its value?
  • How do they expect to use it?
  • Which aspects of the product are clear? Which are confusing? 

To define the customer journey at this phase, you can conduct in-person product prototype testing or role play a service concept. Using a concept prototype at any level of fidelity will be a useful tool for clarifying the customer journey of your product in-use. Your prototype doesn’t need to be fully functioning to get the concept across and glean useful learnings. 

Everyday used a mix of fidelity prototypes to define the user journey for a health tech company’s connected device for point of care detection. We created a high-fidelity companion app prototype to test alongside a non-functioning version of the physical device. Through an in-person concept test, we were observed how users interacted with the product system. In doing so, we saw the critical moments in that either led to understanding or confusion. The result was a clearly defined onboarding journey that supported users in feeling confident in their first-time use.

During pre-launch refinement

Creating a customer journey map in the pre-launch phase can help you design for the specific circumstances in which customers are using your wellness tech product. Customer journeys pre-launch can also help shed light on the bookends of the user journey – what happens before and after the core product experience. 

Pre-launch customer journeys can explore questions like: 

  • How do users’ environments and circumstances affect the journey? 
  • What helps set them up for success with the product?
  • What helps promote (or deter) continued use and engagement with the product? 

Using a fully designed and developed version of the product, you can research the customer journey through in-home use tests with consumers or team immersion activities walking through each phase of the journey. The aspects you investigate should include moments like unboxing, set up / onboarding, first-time use and continued use. 

Customer journey maps benefit each stage of product development  

No matter where you are in developing your wellness tech product, you can bring focus to the process by considering the customer journey. Whether your product is still being defined, in concept development, or almost ready to launch, you will better understand customers’ expectations and the most meaningful moments and differentiators to design for in their experience.