User Flows: An Introduction  

Website and app page design don’t always yield the best outcomes. During the design phase, the user’s goals are separated from a look, feel, and method. Designing for user flows is an alternate strategy for this type of design. It puts the user’s demands first and concentrates on the most efficient way to accomplish those objectives. As the user is at the centre of the design stage, this should result in improved user experiences.

The user flow and user research are the most crucial pillars of a simplified, user-centric design approach. It’s a straightforward diagram that depicts possible user journeys through a product, and it’s a game-changer for your design process.

What are User Flows?

A user flow is a written or digitally created visual representation of the various paths that can be pursued when using a website or application.

The flowchart starts with the consumer’s point of entry into the product, such as a homepage or onboarding screen. It concludes with the final move or result, such as making a purchase or creating an account. By illustrating this process, designers can assess and improve the user experience, boosting customer conversion rates.

The shape of a user flowchart depends on where you are during the design process. For instance, many design teams draft user flows before UI wireframes. Initial user flow diagrams typically have the format of a chart that includes one or all of the below shapes, which frequently have commonplace meanings:

  • Rectangles for notes
  • Circles for entry points 
  • Diamonds for decisions
  • Arrows of transition for depicting user navigation 
  • Squares are occasionally used for notes as well

If at all possible, you should develop a user flow soon following your initial user study, ideally. By doing this, you may enhance the flow before you begin designing. You’ll be able to identify issue areas, eliminate unnecessary procedures, and decide which screens you should create for your initial designs.

It’s important to remember that user flows can be developed at any stage of a product’s development or even after it has been released. User flows are a fast, efficient way to see and evaluate the general structure of a planned or existing design.

What are User Flows Used For?

There are numerous benefits to establishing user flows, particularly if you’re just starting the design process of your product.

Efficient User Interface 

The key advantage of creating a product that allows users to enter the “zone” swiftly is the capacity to raise the likelihood that a user would buy or sign up for the client’s goods. Another advantage is making your platform easier to use and ensuring that users don’t lose time wondering what to do next.

As users navigate your product’s various options, displays, features, and functions, user flows can also help highlight any lingering doubts and potential friction points. This flow can be advantageous since it makes you think about possible user flows or simplify the first path before making costly and time-consuming mistakes.

Better Communication of Strategy 

User flows are beneficial for more than just your design workflow. They are excellent for teamwork as well. Coworkers, decision-makers, and stakeholders can better comprehend the user experience design of your product thanks to user flows. This reduces misinterpretations and accelerates buy-in.

User flows can also make the handoff process more effective by assisting developers in comprehending the overall framework of your final prototype.

Evaluation 

User flow charts for products in use can assist in identifying what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs to be improved. In addition, understanding the potential causes of user stalls and possible solutions is helpful.  

You can see the alternatives the user has on every page and whether the various routes assist the user in achieving a task naturally and without wasting time by outlining their path inside an interface in a blueprint-like approach.

User Flow vs User Journey 

Two terms that are commonly used to refer to the method of interaction between a user and technology are user journey and user flow. User flow and user journey are often viewed as the same by designers. Although both are utilised to convey your designs while keeping in mind the objectives of your users, they are not interchangeable because they concentrate on various facets of produced products.

A user journey is a visual tour of the user’s path through the solution. The user journey takes into account, not just the actions a user does but also their emotions, problems, and happy moments. It depicts how a person interacts with a product through time and various channels. 

Differences 

  • User journeys look at the macro-interactions of many user personas simultaneously, while user flows focus on the specific micro-interactions of a single user. As a result, a user flow is frequently simpler to develop and manage than a comprehensive user journey map.
  • A user journey focuses on the user’s experience at every stage of the interaction process. User flow focuses on the specifics of the activities a user does and is action-focused.
  • Your understanding of your client’s overall experience across all of their touchpoints is aided by their user journey. On the other side, user flow describes each user’s steps to accomplish their objective.
  • A user journey map focuses on the measures taken over time, from the awareness stage to the point at which they purchase from you. User flow describes the actions taken at a certain time.

Various User Flow Chart Types

The primary distinction between the various kinds of flowcharts is how you decide to represent the user journey in your business.

Task Flow 

Activity flows isolate a particular function or task that a user can do without displaying alternative routes or variations. Usually, they’re made when customers join at the same spot and carry out a function in the same manner. For activities when users aren’t provided options for variability, linear charts are typically employed.

Wire Flows 

Wireframes and flowcharts are combined to create wire flows. Individual screen layouts are used as parts of the diagram. On their own, wireframes can assist in explaining the design and structure of every single page, but they cannot explain the page-to-page stream of interfaces with a lot of dynamic content. 

Since what users view on each screen dramatically affects how they use the app or website, wire flows give page information to UX flows. Create mobile screens with ease by using wire flows. Comparatively small mobile devices easily replace the more creative forms of flow charts. 

User Flows 

User flow diagrams are an extension of the first two categories of flow exercises. User flows examine and visualise the overall user experience of your product. The final goals remain the same, but multiple paths and trips are created by user flow to reach them, allowing for the identification of various journey competitions. This usually happens in conjunction with user persona development. 

User Flow Examples 

Zoom 

Since Covid-19 first emerged, Zoom has played a significant role in many of our lives. Everyone had to utilise Zoom to stay in touch while the world fell into lockdown, from schoolchildren to business executives to grandparents. 

The reason Zoom became our preferred video chat tool is still up for debate, but one factor is the UX—Zoom is simple to use. You can create a room and invite all of your friends and coworkers to a video chat in no more than five clicks.

Amazon 

Nobody performs conversions quite like Amazon. Each consumer who makes a purchase goes through the same purchasing routine, and it ships about 1.6 million products daily. So there is no better customer flow example than Amazon if you run an e-commerce business or want to develop a user flow that motivates customers to convert.

That consumers check in or sign up after browsing is one aspect of the Amazon purchase flow that stands out. Users want to find excellent bargains on various products, and Amazon’s website makes it easy for them to do so. No registration is needed. Amazon only asks consumers for their login information when they wish to make a purchase. As a result, they are now firmly committed.

Wrapping Up 

A thorough grasp of a user’s typical experience with your product is necessary to create a great user flow. You want flows that guide users through onboarding. They should walk them through your features, make it simple for them to use your product, and much more. 

You’ll be more successful in persuading users to accept your product and recommend it to others if your flows effectively guide them through the key points of their journey.

User flows show how users will navigate your complete product in a single diagram. This broad perspective enables you to evaluate the efficacy of your suggested structure and flow.

The ease with which users may use a website or app is an indication of success. There is a higher chance that consumers will buy the client’s product or return to the site when they can move through an interface with minimal difficulty or misunderstanding.

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