Choosing between Mural and UXPressia for journey mapping? Grab this detailed tools’ comparison to decide what will work best for you and your team.
What is the key difference?
Let’s start with defining what each of these tools is.
Mural is a big blank page of an online notebook for sketching out your ideas. It means you can do in this tool everything you do in the meeting rooms with whiteboards and sticky notes: brainstorming, planning, mapping, etc.
This platform is not specifically tailored for journey mapping or creating personas. Mural offers you two options instead:
Editing templates created by the Mural team and other users to suit your project’s purposes.
Creating your map or persona from scratch.
UXPressia is designed for mapping: you can build customer journey and experience maps, impact maps, and personas using a wide range of features and 120+ ready-to-use templates that cover different business domains.
Collaboration and teamwork
Both tools are friendly for teamwork and support instant collaboration, meaning multiple users can make edits together and all changes get synchronized across all devices.
Since Mural is rather a whiteboard tool than a mapping one, it has specific features to facilitate online workshops, such as:
Facilitator or Super Lock to keep your developments from being accidentally moved, changed, or deleted;
Online chat for workshop participants.
Facilitators can also summon all participants to one place on an individual canvas aka a mural, write an outline to describe their findings or approach, resize a mural, change its background, and hide team members’ cursors on a mural.
UXPressia also has features that make it easier to work together on maps and personas. There are:
Reactions that you can post on specific parts of a document.
The commenting feature is another teamwork capability that both tools offer.
Mural users with access to a project can comment on a canvas, @mention teammates, edit, delete, and resolve comments.
Commenting is arranged similarly in UXPressia. Users can comment on maps, @mention teammates both in comments and within particular parts of the map or persona, reply to colleagues’ comments, and resolve comment threads.
Since comments at UXPressia show up in real time, you can use comment threads as a live chat for the whole team. You can leave feedback, suggest edits, and initiate a discussion.
Additionally, there are audio comments at UXPressia. Audio commenting works best for team members located in different time zones. You can elaborate on all ideas, suggestions, and document updates with their help.
For instance, you can add a short audio instruction for people who need some onboarding to explain how to read the map. This feature enables your team to start an audio discussion right on the map or persona you are working on together. It will keep you from dispersing the important insights and remarks over other outside chats your team uses.
Both tools support Slack notifications, which means you can be notified of essential updates. For example, when someone mentions you, responds to your replies, or resolves your comments.
Access levels and user roles
There are different roles for collaborators in Mural:
Workspace admins, who manage the workspace where all your murals are located. For example, they can adjust workspace settings and configure permissions.
Company admins can set up and edit settings on a company-wide level, too, but they have less power than workspace admins.
Members are team members or facilitators who have full collaboration access to murals inside the workspace.
Guests have slightly restricted access, requiring a Mural account, but they are not a part of the workspace. Usually, they are stakeholders, partners, and clients who work with a project for a while.
Visitors can get restricted access to a project via a visitor share link only. They don’t require a Mural account. Usually, visitors are one-time collaborators.
There are five roles available on the workspace level in UXPressia:
Super admins have full access to workspace users, billing, invoices, branding, and integrations. Additionally, super admins can terminate a subscription.
Workspace admins have full access to workspace users. They can invite new users within a purchased subscription and set up branding and integrations.
Billing managers have full access to billing and invoices.
Contributors get full access to the workspace dashboard. It enables them to create and edit projects, maps, and personas. All paid features, including export, presenting, branding, and integrations, are available for them, too.
Viewers can get read-only access to the workspace dashboard, projects, maps, and personas. They can leave and read comments. This role is free of charge.
You can invite new members to your UXPressia workspace by email and assign them appropriate roles.
You can share a Mural project by email or direct link. In this case, any person with access gets the Member role. For visitors, the tool generates a visitor link. There are three options for people with a visitor link: can edit, can view, and no access that makes the link inactive.
You can invite new members to your Mural workspace by link or email.
You can also embed your mural in websites or applications as a view-only file.
You can share a UXPressia project by email or a direct link, too. It is not necessary to have an account for users with the link.
Mural offers the Content Library that can be staffed with groups of elements, areas, frameworks, files, drawings, and other assets. It is handy for a whiteboard tool where you frequently need to start a new project from zero.
With UXPressia, you can build up your Team library with core elements you often use for mapping. As a quick point, you can do it before you start mapping.
The following options are available as of now:
Using components from Team Library speeds up the mapping process and helps you keep consistency across all of your maps and personas.
Both tools provide the undo/redo functionality. If you want to revert to an older document version, you can tap into the history of actions.
Mapping tools and features
As previously mentioned, Mural is an online whiteboard tool. It means you can start your project there from scratch. That is why creating a new mural looks like you have unwrapped a roll of a blank whiteboard film.
There are different elements to use on a mural:
Frameworks (pre-formatted grids and diagrams);
Files (PDFs, images, documents uploaded from your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox);
You can change a background color and mural size.
You can also choose one of 300 ready-to-use templates that fit your needs.
The Mural templates save you time on coming out with your own map structure. On the flip side, adjusting those templates to your project specifics might be time-consuming.
It is always nice to get at least simple instructions when trying to apply somebody else’s approach to your case. Although every Mural template is accompanied by an outline description on how to use it, that may not be enough, especially for beginner mappers. As a quick point, this feature is designed for writing notes and step-by-step instructions to a mural. The more detailed outline a map has, the better understanding of how to work with it you will have.
UXPressia offers 120+ templates for customer journey maps and personas spanning from generic ones that can be a starting point for any new map to pre-filled industry-specific templates. A map structure can be easily adjusted, new columns/rows can be added without breaking the layout.
Below is a fragment of a healthcare customer journey map:
Customer Journey Mapping tool
There is no special tool for creating customer journey maps in Mural. It means you can create one from scratch or find templates to edit in the Template library.
When building a map, you can use not only sticky notes and text blocks, but also connectors and strokes. Although mapping with Mural is a very creative process, it takes time, especially if you have never done it before.
UXPressia offers a Customer Journey Mapping tool. Whether you use a template or map out a journey from scratch, your maps will look consistent. All templates have a predefined structure you can adjust to your case by adding, editing, and deleting journey’s stages, customer’s goals, experience, process, touchpoints, pain points, problems, etc.
You can add a persona or personas taking the journey to your map. It enables you to analyze the effectiveness of the journey from different perspectives and highlight specifics for each part of your audience.
You can also use the Personas section to describe how different personas interact at the same stage of a journey.
You can apply visual formatting to your map. And there are various content formats to add: text, media files, video, touchpoints, channels, charts, links, etc. Moreover, you can visualize linear, non-linear, ongoing, and bidirectional processes.
There is a large built-in collection of emotions in UXPressia (48 in total) to help you illustrate customer experience with your brand in terms of emotional perception. The experience section shows persona’s emotional experience stage by stage and makes the most problematic areas visible for your CX team. Additionally, you can set emoticon colors individually and add some emotion-related notes to the section.
Building customer personas is similar to creating customer journey maps in Mural. You have the same editing tool set and a blank mural as a canvas, as there is no dedicated persona creation tool. However, you can find at least two persona templates to edit in the Templates library.
UXPressia has a dedicated Persona tool. Each blank persona has pre-selected sections you can edit and customize. So you never start your personas from the ground up.
In Mural, you should first outline the boundaries of your document, especially when you build a persona on a blank canvas. You can use title and text blocks, sticky notes, various shapes, and frameworks to do this.
You can draw on a mural with a virtual marker and erase your drawings. Adding pictures, icons, files, and videos is available, too.
All UXPressia personas have a pre-defined structure. You can also select a suitable template where the sections are already filled with content to use as a reference or example.
You have a collection of sections to add and edit: text (background, goals, quote, demographic, etc.), graphs, charts, and sliders (persona name, skills, channels, etc.), media and files (photo, documents, image, embed code, etc.). You can drag, resize, and delete them.
Impact Mapping tool
Mural, a universal whiteboard tool, enables you to create any map you want, including an impact one. However, there is no specific impact mapping tool or even ready-to-use templates.
The UXPressia mapping tool set includes an Impact Mapping tool. You can start mapping with a blank template where the main blocks are added or find a template in the templates library and adjust it to your case.
Development teams can use this tool to manage their product backlogs. There is a special Backlog View in UXPressia, where user stories added to a map are shown.
Sometimes you need your maps and personas as standalone documents. The export feature that both tools offer helps you break free your project.
Here are the supported document formats:
This is how exported PNG files look like:
Mural users also can export particular document elements as plain text and areas as PNG and PDF files.
Plus, you can publish your project as a template in your Mural workspace so any member with access to the workspace can reuse it.
When it comes to branding, the UXPressia export feature enables you to set up branding for your exports.
When your map or persona is finished, you need to present it to your boss, team, clients, or stakeholders. This is where the presentation mode comes in handy.
Mural enables you to start a presentation from the tool. You can show an outline to share essentials of your project with viewers. At the end of the presentation, you can click Celebrate!, and the screen will be showered with confetti.
The presentation mode is arranged similarly in UXPressia.
Microsoft Teams, Adobe, Airtable, Asana, Confluence, Dropbox, GitHub, Giphy, Google Drive, Jira, Google Sheets, and Slack are among the apps you can connect with Mural.
You can connect Mixpanel or Google Analytics accounts to your UXPressia journey maps and back up the journey with some KPIs. The data will get updated automatically. Your maps can also be supplemented with prototypes from Figma, InVisionApp, Marvel App, boards from Miro, audio files from SoundCloud, videos from YouTube and Vimeo, polls from PollDaddy and Google Forms.
New Mural users can get around during a short customer tour that showcases key features and opportunities they have with the tool.
Detailed Mural guides are collected in their Help Center. If you have questions while using the tool, you can hit the Help button to open the drop-down menu with various help options.
There are Help Center and a blog that are packed with helpful articles and how-to instructions. And you can download step-by-step Customer Journey Mapping and Persona Creation guides on the blog, or use this collection of free journey mapping resources.
There’s also a free webinar with live chat for new users who want to better understand how their experience with UXPressia may look like.
Mural and UXPressia offer four plans. Let’s look at them.
Both tools have free plans with limited functionality.
With Mural, you get:
5 projects for unlimited members;
All features for visual collaboration and facilitation, such as chat, comments, dot voting, etc.;
Access to the Mural library with ready-to-use templates;
Visitor access to your projects via one-click link.
With UXPressia, you get:
1 customer journey map, 1 impact map, and 1 persona (as a quick point, you can just edit a suitable template). The free plan enables you to use 22 out of 25 sections for a persona and 15 out of 20 sections for customer journey maps;
Email sharing with 1 user;
Export to PNG;
The tools have three paid plans: for individuals and small teams, businesses, and enterprises. Have a look at the table below to compare them:
Both platforms also have special offerings for students, educators, and nonprofit organizations.
Mural is a whiteboard tool with a wide range of editing features. It works best for online workshops, brainstorming sessions, and other teamwork online activities. However, when it comes to mapping, this tool is a bit complicated for newbies. There are many templates available, but you will most likely have to start your map from zero. Editing templates is time-consuming, too, because companies that built them use pretty different approaches.
UXPressia is a professional mapping tool you can use alone or with your team. There are not as many collaboration features as Mural offers, but dozens of ready-to-use templates for different businesses, basic sections, and the functionality which is necessary for successful mapping.
UXPressia provides you with Persona, Customer Journey Mapping, and Impact Mapping tools that even a beginner mapper can quickly get to grips with. So you can build a sustainable mapping process in your organization, establish common practices and how-tos for all team members.
It is a good idea to use Mural at the ideation and research phases when you need to define who your customers are, what needs they have, and how your product or service can help them. At the mapping phase, UXPressia should come into play.