Type of Swimlanes

Swimlanes form the structure of your journey map with Cubb. Together they allow you to create a journey map, that can be simple or complex. Alongside steps, swimlanes provide the basic structure of a journey map. 

As we know, steps are the touchpoints that a customer or stakeholder has with one of your products, or services. Collectively, steps form a journey map, that provides insight to the actions your customers are performing.

These steps are supported by information depicted in rows across the map, in what are called Swimlanes.

In Cubb, we have 7 different Swimlane types that can be customised to best suit your journey and visually represent data. The swimlanes are Phase, Actor, Channel, Emotion, Text, Quote, Image, and Document. 


Phases help clearly section the journey map you are building. 

For example:


The actor swimlane is a channel that indicates who the person is that is associated with, or is performing that step. Each actor can have their own color related to them.


The channel swimlane is used for indicating which medium or touchpoint the customer is interacting with during that particular step. We have multiple pre-established channel options to choose from or you can add and customise your own.

We have added a set of common channels ready to go:

  • Phone Call
  • Face-to-face
  • Online
  • Email
  • SMS
  • Web chat
  • App

To add one of your own, simply type in the  add new box.


The emotion swimlanes are used to visualise the emotion journey and interaction between different actors (stakeholders). Emotions can be happy, sad, angry, shocked, etc. By using this Swimlane you will also be able to distinguish the feeling of a certain process or a user on that particular step in your map. 

  • It helps you see how the customer is doing overall at each stage of the journey;
  • It highlights the most important moments and helping viewers to focus on the most important details when looking at a large map

Typically you would always have three emotion Swimlanes, and these are included by default in each template.

  • User actions: These are the specific experiences the customer has with the service. Without user actions, there is no service at all!
  • Front-stage: All of the activities, people, and physical evidence that the customer can see while going through the service journey. Sometimes this is split into interactions with people/employees (phone calls, emails, face-to-face meetings, and so on) and interactions involving technology (a customer browsing your website, using an online booking form, or receiving an automated message, for example).
  • Backstage: This is all of the things required to produce the service that the customer does not see.

Here's a short video giving you a quick overview of the emotion swimlane.


Text format allows you to type descriptions or add informative labels for a specific step. It's like a notepad for your steps on your map and can provide a more concise way to present your information so there is optimal message clarity. 

Text is often a great field to use for "Evidence". These are the props and places that are encountered along the customer’s service journey. It’s a common misconception that this lane is reserved for only customer-facing physical evidence, but any forms, products, signage, or physical locations used by or seen by the customer or internal employees can and should be represented here.


A really great tool for truly bringing to life a user or actor in a journey is by having a quote related to a specific step. You can use the quote swimlane to describe a feeling or emotion in relation to the step or simply to highlight something that the user or actor would say during this step.


This Swimlane allows you to upload an image artifact related to the step. You can use JPG or PSD file format. Adding images in your map helps your team to visualise the step itself. It may be a photo of an app, software, or artifacts that provide a visualization of that particular step.


Finally, there is the document swimlane. This swimlane is designed for uploading supporting documents to your customer journey and is especially useful when you’re mapping a process that involves the user or actor filling out forms or reading additional material as part of the journey. The documents swimlane can also be used when you need a more detailed explanation in your step but don’t want the journey map itself to be overloaded with data.