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Customer Journey Map

Lanes, columns and cards

Here you learn about lanes, columns and different card types, and how some show a slight divergence in behavior.

Adding lanes or columns: Hover between two columns or lanes, and a blue line will appear, allowing you to add new elements.

blue plus sign in between two columns, visualizing that one can add a column here

Managing lanes or columns: click the three-dot menu to move or delete lanes and columns.

Features for lanes:

  • Change background color
  • Pin lane to the top of your journey map
  • Move lanes, also via drag-and-drop
  • Add a lane description
formatting options for lanes, black box on grey background

Lanes are of a specific type, such as text lanes, stage lanes, and more. Cards added to a lane will automatically have the same type as the lane. However, cards of any type can be placed into lanes of any type.

Lane type: Emotion chart  

The Emotion chart, as the name suggests, is used to display the emotional journeys of either personas or non-personas. Emotions are represented as dots on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from -2 to +2. You can add as many emotional journeys to your chart as you like, allowing for detailed comparison.

Lane type: Grid

Use the Grid to build channels or tables of any kind. The Grid is made up of sub-lanes, also known as swim lanes, making it ideal for displaying channels. You can place cards of any type into the Grid, providing a flexible way to organize and visualize different aspects of your journey map.


In Smaply 3.0, cards are the fundamental components that bring your journey map to life. They come in various types, such as text cards, image cards, and more. You can easily choose your preferred card type clicking the dropdown arrow on the add-card-button. Card actions:

  • Change the card’s color
  • Span the color over multiple columns
  • Duplicate a card using CTRL + D (on Windows) or CMD + D (on Mac)
  • Delete the card
  • Open the card details panel

In the card details panel, you can add more detailed content to a card. The functions in this sidebar vary based on the card type.

Card types

Currently, Smaply 3.0 offers a set of 9 card types, each serving a specific purpose in enhancing your journey maps:

Text card: A simple yet versatile text card lets you describe each step in detail, equipped with a rich text editor similar to the stage card. Beyond this, you can use it to list data gaps, describe what-if scenarios, add how-might-we questions, and much more.

Image card: Elevate your journey map with visual storytelling using image cards. Ideal for creating a storyboard lane or incorporating insights through photos. Upcoming enhancements include flexible resizing and an image gallery.

Stage card: Use stages to categorize and maintain an overview of the journey map steps. The stage card comes with a rich text editor.

Opportunity, solution, and pain point cards: These three card types go hand in hand as they build the items in your portfolio. These cards are designed for linking existing or creating new opportunities, solutions, and pain points. Click on an empty card and a drop down displays your existing opportunities, solutions, and pain points respectively to assign to the card. If none exist, create them directly within the card. Simply type a title and hit enter, then input details such as description, impact, feasibility, potential, priority, and status in the sidebar that opens on the right. Click “Save changes'' to create your portfolio item.

Emotion card: Consisting of an emoji, title, and description. It offers the option to switch between "full card" and only showing the emoji.

Link journey map card: Facilitate the creation of hierarchies and interconnected journey networks by linking journey maps. Click twice into the card to get into edit mode: a dropdown menu displays your available journey maps from the same workspace, allowing you to assign them to the card.
You can also use this card type to branch along your journey map or at the end of it. 

Icon cards: Our most versatile card type yet, offering a library of 12000+ icons! Whether it's placing single icons or bundling up to 15 icons in one card, the Icon card offers a lot of flexibility. Icons can be utilized for various purposes, such as representing channels, creating checklists, or visualizing key touch points. You have the option to choose between a solid or transparent background for the card, and you can arrange icons vertically or horizontally to best suit your needs. Additionally, you can add a label to each icon, providing further context to their journey maps.

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