What are user journeys?

➡️ A good starting point is to think of what happens from the moment a customer starts and until the moment they get what they wanted ✅
Almost everything can be considered as a journey;
Signing up for an account - is a journey. Buying a T-shirt online - is a journey. Even just browsing a website and ending up adding something to cart - is a journey. Everything is a journey.

When do we build journeys?

Whenever we have a flow that can be described as steps. Even if you don't actively draw journeys on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, whenever we think about our customers and how they will use our product - we are essentially planning journeys. The only question is how to split our project in a way that makes sense. In an e-commerce example, a typical journey would look like this:
The first & obvious part
This is the part that the customer experiences (hence the "Frontend" note at the top). In terms of colours and shapes - it's all up to you and how you manage your journeys. In the example above, we are using circles to mark milestone steps of the journey.
But this isn't all, is it? From the moment the customer got to confirmation, a chain of events starts taking place, usually on the backend side:
Backend & fulfillment
It is crucial to map out everything that happens from the start of the flow, and until we reach some sort of a finalised result (i.e package delivered, or package lost + refund issued).
Start by mapping out happy (simple) paths. From there, it's going to be clear and simple to map all edge-cases and sad paths.
Now we have a complete flow for our journey, start to finish:
This is much simpler and clearer than just a bunch of tickets isolated from each other. You can clearly see what we expect the user to do, what's possible in terms of happy & sad flows, and where we expect the customer to get. With the journey mapped out in front of your eyes, it's easy to optimise the different steps of the journey, to ensure the customer gets the best (and optimal for the business) experience.
The next step is to add rich contextual data. This can be added to every single step, and files may include screenshots, mocks, designs, descriptions, discussions, anything. And all done in just a few clicks; See Rich contextual data. This way, everyone in your team knows what they're working, how it all comes together, and why.