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How to handle complex journey maps

Learn how you can break down a complex CJM into parts and link them to a Master map

Nina avatar
Written by Nina
Updated over a week ago

If your map is a part of a bigger hierarchy

If your organization is running multiple mapping projects in parallel, chances are there are relations between them. For example, some maps can be high-level and strategic, while the others help you to zoom in specific interactions.

Design View lets you get a complete overview of such initiatives, identify relations between them, and zoom in from high-level to more detailed, narrow-scope journey maps.


If each stage of your map is a separate map that you might want to zoom in

Suppose you have a complex customer journey where each stage is a customer journey map itself. How do you map it? Making a single map 50 feet long is not a way to go, as the map will go through several departments once printed. Keeping it digital is far from being convenient too.

The solution would be to create a Master map — a zoomed-out, high-level version of the journey where each stage leads to a separate map that describes this stage in detail.

Start with creating a Tag which will group the Master map and all the secondary maps (aka the stage maps) together:


Suppose you are mapping a customer journey of a coffee shop; it has 9 stages — Aware, Search, Way to Coffee, Order, Wait, Drink, Bonus program, Leave, and Feedback. In this case, you can group these stages in the following way:

  • Stages 1-3 under the Investigation stage map;

  • Stages 4-6 under the Process stage map;

  • Stages 7-9 under the Feedback stage map.


Thus, you will end up with three three-stage maps, which you will then need to link to the Master map. How do you do it?

To do this, you have to open up the window with the settings of a stage or a substage, go to the Links & Icons tab, and select the corresponding granular map from the list:


If you want to make it more visual, additionally you can take it a few steps further by making previews of lower-level maps in PNG/JPG and adding them inside the master map:

To add a link to an image, click on the image, then click on the “Insert link” button and paste the URL of a more granular (e.g., stage-specific) map.


You’ll end up with a nice-looking preview of a dependent map!


💡 If you don’t need to work with a linked map and just need to view its full-size image, open it in the preview mode.


Now you have a structure that is a lot easier to handle and present.

You can also open one of the maps in the Presentation mode and switch between them there:

Frame 372.png

If each stage of your map corresponds to multiple maps

If, for some reason, you don’t want to add numerous substages and prefer to link a single stage of your master map to multiple detailed maps, you can use the Process & Channels section for this purpose.

Example: The "Credit Check and Verification" stage of the map representing a mortgage process can be split into several separate maps: - Credit Report Dispute - Conditional Approval - Income Verification and DTI Calculation- Asset Verification - Credit Score Assessment


Consider creating separate journey maps for the individual sub-stages within the "Credit Check and Verification" stage, as they could be intricate and hold significant importance in the mortgage application process. Additionally, the 'Process and channels' section can provide a high-level visualization of how exactly those journeys are connected, inform whether it is a linear or a cyclic process, etc.

If you need to keep everything on one map, but it becomes huge

And last but not least, you can use journey map Views to handle complex journey maps.

View Setting inside CJMs allows you to customize your journey map by selecting which stages and sections to display or hide in each View.


Each View can have its own access settings. Dividing the large map into Views will simplify navigation and improve focus, while access to the shared View will always be at your fingertips.

And that is how you tame your wild CJMs, folks! 😎

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