From the time you open any app to the time you close the app, every step you take to complete your specific task is designed by a UX designer.
The process is referred to as User Flow.
What is one of the most important design concepts that must be obeyed to distinguish between good and poor designs? It is the user’s experience.
If it takes a long process to complete the desired task, users will easily get frustrated and may not use the app again. And this is where a good user flow is important.
This is the cornerstone of the user-centric design methodology. All the other features and functionality depend on this foundation.
Even though I have partially described what user flow is, still for a better understanding, let’s understand what it is in-depth so that after reading this, you will not have any confusion left!
What Are User Flows?
Simply put, “user flow,” also called “UX flow,” represents a specific path a user might take through your website or app to reach a goal. The journey begins at a certain point and takes the user through all the steps they need to take to achieve a particular result.
User Flows shows the task in its most basic form as a picture of blocks linked by arrows. Diagrams don’t have to be in a straight line, just like the tasks in an app. It includes loops, different paths, etc.
User flow is an important part of UX design because it helps you figure out the user’s path, what problems they might run into and how to fix them, what they need, how to start, and how to design. When these are clear, it will be much easier to design, and the user will have a better experience.
There are Mainly 3 Types of User Flows Created by UX Designers:
Task flow is a type of User Flow that focuses on a specific user task. It does not illustrate the complete solution flow. They typically depict a single path and do not feature several branches or pathways like a conventional user flow might. These are most effective when all users perform the task being assessed in the same manner.
Wire flows mix wire frames and user flows. This section has wire frames, not blocks. Wire frames help explain page layout and design but not the page-to-page flow of dynamic interfaces. Wire flows give page context to UX flows since what users view on each screen affects their experience. This helps team members and stakeholders visualize program interactions.
User flows are about how the people you want to use your product will interact with it. They emphasize that not all users may do tasks the same way and may take different routes. Most of the time, they are tied to a specific persona and point of entry. So, when you use this kind of flowchart, you might have a lot of different scenarios that begin in different places. But the primary objective or thing that needs to be done is usually always the same.
Now that you have all clear about user flows, What about creating one?
Read Also: The Importance of Micro- Interaction to Improve UI and UX
Steps for Creating a User Flow:
1. Identify Your Own and Your Customers’ Needs
To begin, you must comprehend your business goal as well as the problem that the user wishes to fix.
Your objective will be simpler to achieve whether you want people to purchase, subscribe, share, or click. If you’re unsure, consider your company’s and project’s objectives to assist and guide your decision. You must then align your corporate goals with user objectives. What do they desire?
A customer journey map can help you figure out what users are wondering. This helpful flowchart can help you match your customer’s mood to each stage of the journey and the most important touchpoints. Evaluating a typical user’s attitude will assist you in refining your messaging so that clients are as responsive to it as feasible.
You can also explore a hierarchy of effects model, which are theories that outline how a customer responds to specific suggestions and proceeds through a series of common phases while making a purchase or subscription decision.
2. Take into Account How Users will Find You
Your website or app may already be available to users, but if you still want to improve it. One method that can help you do this is Google Analytics.
You may learn a lot about your visitors and their actions, like where they came from and what they clicked on, with the help of analytics tools (social media, email, PPC, organic search, etc.). Google Analytics provides a percentage breakdown showing you which channels are most popular and where you need to enhance your targeting.
Your data flow diagram should start with each channel.
3. Determine What Users Need
If a visitor cannot find what they are looking for on your website, they will leave and look elsewhere. Therefore, you must furnish them with the necessary information as quickly as feasible. Consider what they hope to accomplish at each stage by placing yourself in their shoes.
You can do this if you’re working on a website or app that is already live and receive feedback from actual people. When working on anything, it might be difficult to examine it objectively; therefore, this type of feedback can be invaluable.
It might not result in quick sales success. Subscribing to a newsletter or enabling push notifications is as important and may lead to a sale in the future.
4. Create a User Flow Diagram
After you’ve determined what your users want to do, it’s time to draw your user flow diagram. First, identify the website or app entry points where visitors first come into contact with your product or brand. Second, link each entry point to its respective landing page.
You may have multiple landing pages, depending on the customer segment and user access point. Each landing page on your diagram should contain a call-to-action that determines the next step of the page flow.
Consider the user goal each page should fulfill and the next steps a target user will take. Some parts of the user flow will have a single sequence, while others will branch off to show different user paths. Keep in mind that the way your website or product works might change over time, so make sure the diagram is easy to change.
Pro Tip: Use flowchart shapes to make your diagram easy for everyone to understand without using keys or explanations.
5. Share and Ask for Feedback
The more responses you receive, the better. Other points of view help you understand how different individuals may engage with your website or app. This is also beneficial in terms of collaboration. Clients and stakeholders will welcome an early sneak peek, which allows them to comment and reduces the possibility of unpleasant shocks later on.
6. Share Your Thoughts with The Designers
Provide the user flow information to the website or app designers so that they can construct with intent. It is advisable to have a lead designer in client meetings. You can also provide clients with access to your diagramming software and allow them to directly remark on the designer’s work. This reduces the gap between people who create a website and those who use it and makes the entire process more collaborative.
Here are Some Practices That Will Help You Have a Smooth Process While making User Flow and Fewer Errors!
- Give your user flow diagram a name that accurately explains its function. This will assist anyone who refers to it in understanding its foundation.
- When drawing the flowchart, stick to one direction. Because the chart maps out a tale, it is easier to read and grasp when the map flows in one way.
- Reduce the number of decision points to make it less cluttered/complicated.
- Ensure that the scope of the user flow diagram covers only a single task or objective for the user. The user flow is ineffective if it only covers half of the task or if it maps out the processes for more than one user objective.
- Ensure you only provide the relevant information and remove any unnecessary material that does not help you illustrate the user’s flow and activities.
- Adopt a digital flowchart tool to speed up the process. Utilize a tool that enables you to receive comments from others and store your work in a centralized area on the cloud, allowing you to access it and edit it from anywhere.
Working in groups makes it simple to become buried in features, technical jargon, or personal viewpoints, leaving the user out of the product. To ensure that your emphasis does not stray from the actual plan, create a user flow first.
Visualizing the flow of consumers through your product or feature will help you identify friction points, redundancies, and potentially confusing components before including them in your design. If your user flow does not provide a clear and intuitive path to a goal, chances are your end product will not either.
In Musemind, you will find experienced UX designers and information architects who build strong foundations for your products. If you have an idea, we would love to hear about it.