UX Roadmap: What Is It and How to Create One?

UX Roadmap: What Is It and How to Create One? cover

Want to learn how to create a robust UX roadmap for your UX team?

Look no further as this is exactly what this article covers!

We also discuss the benefits of UX roadmaps, present different types, and share top tips for building them.

Let’s dive in!


  • UX roadmap is a strategic plan outlining UX initiatives and guiding the UX design process.
  • UX roadmaps help designers align their efforts and ensure that their working towards the same objectives.
  • It also helps the UX team keep other stakeholders informed about their goals and initiatives.
  • By prioritizing the UX team’s effort to address the most acute user problems, a UX roadmap has a significant impact on improving satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Product roadmaps provide a high-level view of all product development motions, including UX ones.
  • A field roadmap gives a general overview of all UX efforts across all areas and products.
  • A specialty roadmap focuses exclusively on one area, for example, UX design or research, but across multiple products.
  • In the ideal world, you should create a UX roadmap along the main product roadmap to avoid accumulating UX debt.
  • A successful roadmap should include information on UX vision, strategy, goals, themes, milestones, and a timeline.
  • The process of creating a UX roadmap starts with goal-setting (e.g., improving retention). Based on that, you choose success metrics to track, including the UX team’s North Star metric.
  • UX research aims to identify specific user pain points. Common research techniques include user behavior analysis, surveys, and interviews.
  • Having identified the problems, use a framework like RICE or ICE to prioritize those that will make the biggest impact on user experience when solved.
  • Next, plot the UX initiatives on the roadmap using a project management or roadmapping tool like Asana or Roadmunk.
  • When ready, share the UX roadmap with relevant stakeholders, including product managers, senior leaders, and the heads of the key departments.
  • Regularly review and adjust the roadmap to reflect the changes in user needs and business goals.
  • Want to see how Userpilot can help you make informed UX roadmap decisions? Book the demo!

What is a UX roadmap?

A UX roadmap is a strategic plan outlining the projected development of the user experience over time.

It serves as a visual guide that describes what a product or solution will look like from the user’s perspective.

As such, it’s an essential tool for product managers, UX designers, and most teams involved in product development.

It aligns the stakeholders on user experience goals, prioritizes UX initiatives, and provides a clear vision of how the product will evolve to meet user needs and business objectives.

UX roadmap
UX roadmap. Source: Roadmunk.

Why are UX roadmaps important to create?

There are several reasons why your SaaS product needs a UX map.

Here’s an overview of the main ones.

Aligns the work of UX designers

One of the primary functions of a UX roadmap is to align the work of UX designers.

By outlining the objectives, priorities, and proposed timelines for various tasks and features, a roadmap ensures that everyone on the UX team is working towards the same goal.

It also aligns the work of individual team members, making sure that every designer contributes towards achieving the same objectives and helping to avoid work duplication.

Increases user loyalty and satisfaction

A well-crafted UX roadmap can significantly enhance user satisfaction and brand loyalty.

How so?

That’s because it prioritizes the team’s effort to address the most pressing user pain points and usability issues.

Resolving these problems is a guaranteed way to make the user experience more enjoyable and satisfying.

Improves communication with different departments

UX roadmaps also facilitate communication between different teams involved in product development.

They provide a visual guide that clearly communicates the UX team’s goals and initiatives.

This fosters better understanding and collaboration among stakeholders, including product managers, the development team, and customer support.

What are the different types of UX roadmaps?

There are three primary types of UX roadmaps. The key differences between them are their focus and granularity.

Product roadmap

Product roadmaps provide a high-level overview of product development.

They are normally created and maintained by product managers in collaboration with stakeholders and outline the improvements and features to be built. They also highlight the timeline for the updates and their impact on user experience.

Field roadmap

The field roadmap is the most commonly used roadmap type in UX, usually developed by the UX designer.

Unlike product roadmaps, field roadmaps cover multiple products or areas. As such, they provide a broader and more comprehensive overview of the UX team’s future work and problems to solve.

Field roadmaps can help align and prioritize work across several projects, fostering a unified UX vision and communication with stakeholders.

Specialty roadmap

Specialty roadmaps focus only on one UX area, for example, user research or UX design, and the problems to solve.

This doesn’t mean they’re limited to only one product. On the contrary, they can cover several products or product features as long as they’re focusing on the relevant UX aspect.

Specialty roadmaps help teams align their efforts and share their progress with stakeholders.

When should the UX team create a roadmap?

The short answer is: as early in the development process as possible.

In this way, you ensure that the new functionality that you build offers a good UX right off the bat.

Unfortunately, that’s not how many startup teams work. When you prioritize quick growth to deliver the MVP and beat potential competitors to the market, the UX isn’t always the priority.

Here’s what Andy Shamah, a seasoned product manager, had to say on the subject:

“I don’t think it is possible if you want to go fast and break things, but it is possible to minimize the damage if one of the founders or early employees have a good background in design”

Andy Shamah, seasoned product manager, on alignment between fast growth and UX design.

The consequence of that is UX debt that hampers the growth of the product. The product may offer great functionality but it’s difficult to use, so users aren’t able to realize its value and start looking somewhere else.

And the more complex the product, the more difficult it is to fix inefficiencies and usability issues that have accumulated over time.

Elements of a successful UX roadmap

A good UX roadmap should provide information on:

  • UX vision, strategy, and goals – to provide a high-level picture of the user experience that you’re aiming to develop.
  • Themes – bundles of work to complete in the nearest and more distant future; they should include information on the beneficiary and the need that it satisfies, the business objective it’s driving, and who is responsible for its delivery.
  • Timeline – an indicative time frame for delivering on the objectives; could be specific, for example, March 2024 or Q1 2023, or more general, like Now, Next, and Future.
  • Milestones – key objectives essential to achieving the strategic goals.

Apart from these, a UX map can also include information on:

  • Completed work
  • Product areas affected by the UX initiatives
  • Subthemes (subgoals that make up the theme, for example, related to a specific user persona)
  • Resource allocation
  • Confidence estimates
  • Requirements
  • Risks

The process for creating a UX roadmap

With the theory out of the way, here’s how you develop a successful roadmap, step-by-step.

1. Develop high-level goals and success metrics

Start building the UX roadmap by defining the high-level goals it will help you achieve.

For example, your goal may be to improve customer retention.

Once you have your goals, pick success metrics to measure progress, starting with the North Star metric.

The North Star metric is the main metric that guides the efforts of the UX team – it shows them the way. In our case, this is the retention rate.

In addition to it, choose other relevant metrics. If you’re trying to improve retention, other important metrics to track include churn rate, MRR, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Customer Effort Score (CES), and customer satisfaction (CSAT).

North Star checklist
North Star checklist.

2. Conduct user research to understand their pain points

Having defined your goals, conduct UX research to identify user pain points and areas for improvement.

Common UX research methods include:

  • User interviews and focus groups
  • Customer surveys
  • Product analytics (funnels, heatmaps, session recordings, etc.)
  • Support ticket analysis
  • Conversations with customer-facing teams
  • Social listening (social media comments, online reviews, etc.)

Next, use the research insights to create user personas and map out their unique user journeys. Define individual touchpoints in the journey and match them with the issues you’ve discovered.

In-app survey for UX research
In-app survey for UX research.

3. Identify and prioritize improvements in the user interface and experience

Now you may have a list of issues that different user segments experience at different stages of the journey.

That’s brilliant! Unfortunately, you may not be able to solve them all – due to limited resources and time.

Start prioritizing the issues to address by eliminating those that aren’t directly aligned with your goals. Don’t delete them completely; just send them to the bottom of the backlog. One day, you may be able to go back to them.

Next, use a prioritization framework to rank the remaining items. Relevant frameworks include:

  • Cost of delay
  • Value vs Effort
  • Important vs. Urgent
  • RICE (Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort)
  • ICE (Impact, Confidence, Ease)

Mind you, we’re using the frameworks to prioritize the issues to solve rather than actual solutions. This allows you to focus on the key problems without restricting your options on how to deal with them.

The Value vs. Effort Framework
The Value vs. Effort Framework.

4. Create a roadmap that outlines the UX team’s future work

With your UX initiatives prioritized, you can start working on the actual roadmap.

To save a lot of time, use a specialist tool for the job.

Project management tools like Asana or Trello offer ready-to-use roadmap templates that are easy to adapt to your team’s needs.

There are also dedicated roadmapping tools like Roadmunk or Productboard that you can use.

Roadmap list view in Asana
Roadmap list view in Asana.

5. Share the roadmap with key stakeholders

Most of the project management and roadmapping tools around allow you to seamlessly share the roadmap with key stakeholders.

Before you share it, however, double-check if the person really needs to see it. While roadmaps foster alignment and collaboration, overloading your colleagues with unnecessary information could be counterproductive.

So who should have access to the roadmap?

Apart from the UX design team and senior leadership, include the product manager and the heads of the key departments: development, engineering, marketing, and customer success/support. Let them decide who else needs to see it.

How about the customers?

Not necessarily. However, you could include UX design aspects in the general customer-facing product roadmap if your business has one. This is an effective way to close the feedback loop if your customers have been asking for specific improvements.

6. Continuously improve and update the roadmap to streamline future UX work

A UX roadmap is not a create-it-and-forget-it document. Instead, it’s a dynamic tool that you need to update and improve continuously.

Regular reviews of the roadmap are crucial to ensure its alignment with the overarching business strategy and product development. For example, you may need to amend it to reflect new user insights or product features.

Another aspect to consider when reviewing the roadmap is feedback from stakeholders. The UX team members and colleagues from other functions can provide you with ideas on how to refine and adjust the roadmap.

Tips for creating successful UX roadmaps

Let’s wrap up with a few top tips for developing outstanding UX roadmaps.

  • Organize your roadmap around user outcomes, not features: Features are only means to an end. There could be better ways to achieve your objectives but once you commit to a feature, you won’t be able to change course.
  • Align the roadmap with business objectives: I get it! You are super-passionate about designing the best UX imaginable – for customer delight and a sense of achievement. However, you’re not likely to secure leadership buy-in if the UX initiatives don’t drive specific business goals.
  • Make the roadmap easy to adapt and adjust: As mentioned, user or business needs can shift in no time, so you need to be able to amend your roadmap easily to keep up.
  • Use research to inform the UX roadmap: By creating a data-driven UX roadmap you ensure that the UX initiatives make a real impact on users. Data is also essential to make a business case for your ideas.
  • Involve all stakeholders in the roadmap creation process: Including all relevant stakeholders in the UX roadmap creation process helps avoid roadblocks down the line, ensures the roadmap aligns with overall business goals, and fosters a sense of shared ownership and commitment to the UX vision.


A UX roadmap is an essential document guiding the work of the UX teams and ensuring that their efforts are aligned with high-level organizational objectives and customer needs.

If you want to find out how Userpilot can help you make informed UX roadmap decisions, book the demo!

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