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How to set up a Journey Framework in 4 steps

How to set up a Journey Framework in 4 steps

Learn how to setup a journey framework in minutes.

Before diving into this guide, make sure you understand the 3 hierarchy zoom levels and 6 guidelines to set up a framework. These provide you with everything you need to know while you set up a framework. Ready to get started? Then here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

Step 1: Create a new framework in TheyDo

To get started, head over to the purple sidebar menu. Then click on the Framework button.

Here you can give your framework a name. 

Using a template to get started

TheyDo comes pre-packaged with a series of journey framework templates to help get you started. Every template contains pre-defined boards and stages that serve as a starting point for creating your own lifecycle. Templates include:

  • Customer Lifecycle – Service: contains ‘not a customer’, ‘become a customer’, ‘onboard ‘, ‘I am a customer’, ‘I renew’, ‘I leave’, ‘I get support’ boards and stages.
  • Customer Lifecycle – Product:contains ‘discover’, ‘try’, ‘use’, ‘maintain’, ‘engage’, ‘support’, and ‘renew/leave’ boards and stages.
  • Customer Lifecycle – Marketing:contains ‘awareness’, ‘consideration’, ‘purchase’, ‘retention’, and ‘loyalty’ boards and stages.
  • Employee Lifecycle contains ‘recruit’, ‘onboard’, ‘work’, ‘grow’, ‘retain’, and ‘exit’ boards and stages.

Step 2: Split up your framework into Journey boards

A framework is much too large to manage. Therefore, we have to split it up into parts. We call those parts ‘Journey Boards’. The boards represent the main ‘chapters’ of your journey framework. You can add any number of journeys to a board, and organize them using stages and lanes.

Board examples

Boards can be seen as categories or clusters that group journeys together. They can be chronological, but don’t have to be. Some examples include:

  • Chronological boards: I Discover/Onboard/Use/Leave. These are almost always present in any type of lifecycle. ‘Use’ is often split up into more specific (and non-chronological) boards.
  • Non-chronological boards: I Manage/Monitor/Develop/Maintain/Get Support. These are examples of boards that often occur, but which people don’t necessarily experience in the same order every time.
  • Boards organized by frequency: Daily/Weekly/Quarterly/Yearly. Another way to structure boards can be based on frequency. This can be useful in boards that contain many recurring journeys. Examples include branding boards (year of a consumer’s life with yearly repeating events), boards describing financial planning (that often include recurring payments), or education (which often includes returning study cycles and events).

How to create a journey board

There are two ways to create boards:

From the sidebar: Click on add a board to create a new board. under the Journey Framework you just created, you can hit the Add Board button. 

In the Framework: Hover over to the gray area and hit ‘Add board’ to create a new stage in your framework. 

When you create a new board, a popover will open and ask you to select a board from the list or create a new one. Type the name of your Board or select it from the menu below. 

Board preferences

When you create a new board, you can set up several preferences for it. You can edit these later as well by clicking on the three dots next to the board title.

TheyDo’s CX lead Kaspar Kazil shows the repository of templates and how to search, edit, add, remove and organize them accordingly.

  • Title: Add a title to your board.
  • Owner: Each board has an Owner or Manager. The board owner functions as the go-to-person for questions about a board, and will receive notifications about changes in the board. 
  • Template: Select a board template. Several often-occurring templates are provided to get you started with a pre-defined board structure.
  • Framework: Select what framework you want to add a board to. You can also do this later.
  • Description: Add a description to a journey board.
  • Detail color: The detailed color will be shown in the stages, as well as the board thumbnail in the framework. Colors can help you to visually group or distinguish boards from each other.

Step 3: Split up your boards into smaller parts: Board Stages.

After creating a basic structure for your journey framework with a few boards, you can break boards down even further by creating stages. Doing this help you to:

  • Break down your boards into parts that fit micro journeys. Boards might be defined broadly enough to fit macro journeys, but for micro journeys, we need to subdivide our boards into one more level of detail. For example, an ‘onboarding’ board can be subdivided further into ‘creating an account’, ‘payment’, and ‘first use’.
  • Compare stages. Every stage gets an associated experience score: the empathy graph. This score is the average score of all steps of all journeys that fall within a stage. Use this to compare performance between stages.

If the board was a parking area, see the stages as the individual parking spots you can use to park your journeys.

Stage structure examples

Similar to boards, stages can be structured chronologically, but they don’t necessarily have to be. See them as clusters to which you can link multiple journeys. As examples:

  • Chronological stages: From left to right, some boards can be broken down into a timeline of before, during and after. For example in the ‘Onboarding’ board, the stages can be I Signup/Set up/Try/Reflect. 
  • Non-chronological stages: A board like ‘I manage my app’ could include the stages ‘I edit my profile’, ‘I review my usage statistics’, or ‘I change my preferences’. These all fit under the board, but don’t necessarily have to be experienced in any particular order. For such a board, the stages can be seen more as ‘clusters’ that group different (micro) journeys together. Notice that these stages also don’t have to be experienced by everyone; in this case, the board describes all the possible journeys someone might encounter when they manage their app.

If you’re creating a lifecycle from scratch, at this point you might find out you have to reshuffle stages between boards, rename boards, or split or merge them to arrive at a framework that makes sense. Keep in mind that this is an iterative process and it’s ok to take a few spins before you get it just right.

Adding stages

To add stages to a board, do the following:

  1. Go to any board, and in the top of the gray area click ‘+ add stage’ to give your stage a name.
  2. Drag stages around to reorder them.
  3. Repeat this process to add as many stages as you want.

Showing stages in the journey framework overview

When you are creating, moving, and reshuffling stages between boards, it can be helpful to have an overview of all the stages you’ve created and how they’re distributed among your boards.To view this:

  1. Go to the framework overview.
  2. Click on the ‘view’ button
  3. Select ‘show stages’ to show stages per board.

Step 4: Organize journeys using Board Lanes

While stages help you to add journeys at the right place in your framework, lanes help you organize different journey variations within those stages. That is helpful in two ways:

  • Organise multiple journeys per stage. You will often find that there might be multiple journeys that fit under one specific stage. For example, an ‘I pay’ stage might have an ‘online payment’ micro journey and an ‘offline payment’ micro journey that both fit within it. Lanes help to distinguish between these multiple variations of journeys, and allow you to organise them based on their respective channels, domains, areas, or more.
  • Compare performance between lanes. Every lane gets their own empathy graph, which gives the average score of all empathy scores for all journeys in a lane. So when you set up your lanes ask yourself; what lanes would be interesting to compare the performance of to one another?

As an example, consider a situation where you have a board called ‘I buy a product’ with a stage called ‘I pay’. You can imagine that a company can have several different journey variations when it comes to payment; an in-store payment journey and an online payment journey for example. In this case, you could create an ‘in-store’ lane and an ‘online’ lane to distinguish and compare these different journeys. The empathy graphs help you to compare the performance of the online and offline journeys to one another.

Within a lane, you can also add multiple rows of journeys. This comes in handy when you want to add multiple journeys to a stage within the same lane. It can also be used to add micro and macro journeys to a board within the same lane.

Lane structure examples

What lane structure works best for you depends on your business, or the comparisons you want to make. Some of the lane structures we often see used include:

  • Channels (e.g. Channel A vs. Channel B) help to look at different journeys based on different channels. For example, use them to organise and compare your online and offline journeys.
  • Service or products (e.g. Product A vs. Product B) help to compare journeys related to different products or services. Think of comparing budget vs. premium service plans. Think of a budget or premium airport experience; the stages in a lifecycle are similar between these experiences, but the journeys can be quite different.
  • Customer segmentation (e.g. SMB vs. Enterprise) help to compare variations of journeys related to different customer types, for example journeys related to SMB vs. Enterprise. In general we would advise to use personas within journeys to compare the experiences of different customer types, but it can happen that journeys for different customer segments become so different that it helps to create different journeys and lanes for them.
  • Geographical area (e.g. Area A vs. Area B) helps to compare localized variations of journeys, for when you want to compare the experience between different areas. Think of creating a lane for Europe, and another for America.

Creating lanes

To add lanes to a board, follow these steps:

  1. In any board, hover over to the first column of the gray area.
  2. There is already a first lane called ‘lane’ and you can rename it by clicking on it.
  3. To add additional lanes, simply hover on the line below and click the purple button to add a new lane.

Collapsing lanes

A handy tool to keep overview is to collapse lanes. When you collapse a lane, journeys in that lane will be disregarded when creating the experience graph.

Using the framework view as a reference

When you’re adding journeys to boards, it can help to have a visual reference of the other boards and the journeys they contain. To get this overview, go back to the ‘Framework’ level from the sidebar menu on the left, where you will see a visual representation of all your journeys and boards in one place. This helps you to quickly check if you have everything in place.

Locking your framework

Once you set up your framework, it’s time to share. But before you do, there is one thing you can do to make sure all those stakeholders don’t just ‘accidentally’ mess up everything you have created: lock your framework.

Locking your framework

If you don’t want other people to edit your framework or boards as an Admin, you can lock your content:

  • Locking framework – this means that all boards and their content are locked. Every editor in your workspace can now only view the framework and boards, but they can work inside the journeys. Only you and other admins can unlock. 
  • Locking boards – this means that all boards and their content are locked. Every editor in your workspace can now only view the framework and boards, but they can work inside the journeys. Only you and other admins can unlock. 

Next up: Adding journeys

When you have finished your framework, it’s time to start adding journeys to it. Have a look at our guide to learn how to do so.


I already have a framework, how do I migrate it to TheyDo?

If you already have a framework, the question is more about how you can convert your existing framework into TheyDo’s boards and stages. The key to this discussion is how the hierarchy levels in your board correspond to the hierarchy levels in TheyDo. Simply put: Which parts of your framework can be ‘converted’ to boards, stages, or lanes? Use our guidelines to figure out the best way to do so. If you are still wondering how your existing framework might correspond to TheyDo, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Continue exploring

Learn how to track, filter, and compare your journeys and the progress being made to improve them.

Learn how to add journeys to a journey framework.

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