To main content

Modelling of user journeys

Extending the Customer Journey Modelling Language by investigating the formalism behind user journeys.

Contact person

(Photo: Pixabay)


Problem description

Customer journeys (or user journeys) have become widespread as a concept and method for public and private service providers to design and evaluate service quality and service experiences.   Customer journeys put humans at the centre of a process, whether we have the role of patient, employee, citizen, or user. Customer journey maps are visual representations of the steps or touchpoints, and the experience evoked at each step.  Despite the huge uptake of this method among private and public service providers, the method's validity beyond anecdotal evidence has been questioned. 

At SINTEF we have several years of experience with user journeys and service science, both from a practical and theoretical perspective. We have developed the modelling language CJML (Customer Journey Modelling Language) for documentation and analysis of technology-driven services where the end user interacts mainly through digital communication channels. CJML is an easy-to-use language, and formal evaluation shows that new users can rapidly make precise models for real and hypothetical user journeys. More information can be found here:

Now we want to further develop the modelling language with more attributes, in order to capture data flow and the connection with the underlying IT infrastructure. The current master topic will focus on the modelling foundation and will support the development of new software tools for CJML (a second master topic). A collaboration between two master students is therefore possible. 

Qualifications - Requirements

Good knowledge and interest in class diagrams and metamodels. It is an advantage with knowledge about business process modelling. Also, it is a great advantage with Interest in other modelling languages, service science.



Goal and Learning outcome

The main goal is to develop a formal foundation for user journey modelling. This will entail the following research tasks:

  • Surveying state-of-the-art to investigate existing technical frameworks
  • Investigate the formalism behind user journeys to achieve an overview and identify requirements
  • Expand the metamodel with new attributes and further develop the modelling language.


  • Literature studies 
  • Evaluation and state-of-the-art of technical aspects of user journey modelling
  • Capturing user requirements (for users of the modelling language)
  • Study terminology and formalism behind user journeys, and developing new models
  • Build on the existing metamodel and further develop the modelling language
  • Build the foundation for developing tool support (related master topic)

The expected result is a theoretical foundation for modelling of user journeys. You will work together with researchers on the topic. We currently have two projects running: the H2020 EU project CyberKit4SME and a new research project starting up in January 2021 with the title Smart Journey Mining.


See SINTEF's resource page about user journey modelling:

Chesbrough, H., & Spohrer, J. (2006). A research manifesto for services science. Communications of the ACM, 49(7), 35-40. 

Halvorsrud, R., Kvale, K., & Følstad, A. (2016). Improving service quality through customer journey analysis, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 26, pp. 840-867. Link to author version of the paper. 

Halvorsrud, R., Haugstveit, I. M., & Pultier, A. (2016). Evaluation of a modelling language for customer journeys. Proceedings from IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), pp. 40-48. Link to author version of the paper.


Main supervisor: Ragnhild Halvorsrud  -  Assisting supervisor: Konstantinos Boletsis  -  Internal Supervisor UiO: Arne Jørgen Berre

Contact info