User Flow

In most cases, when a customer or user is interacting with a product, they are going on a tiny journey. The paths they take on this mini journey is what is known as the User Flow.

What are User Flows?

A user flow is:

  • visual tool depicted by flow charts.
  • A set of steps taken by a user to achieve a goal within a digital product.
  • A breakdown of the user interface.

Rather than demonstrating how the customers are feeling, a user flow is action-based. Generally, user flow diagrams are not very detailed. They contain just the essential information that helps outline the following:

  • Represent the goals of system-user interactions.
  • Define and organize the functional requirements in a system.
  • Specify the context and requirements of a system.
  • Model the basic flow of events.

They will affect everything from what features you prioritize to solve your customers’ problems to what customers you’ll market your product to.

Benefits of using User Flow Diagrams

  • They are customizable: User flow diagrams can range from simple to complex.
  • They make communication easier: The can help your team communicate and analyze the scope of your system; any scenario in which your system interacts with customers, organizations, or external systems; or goals or problems your applications help your customers solve.
  • They highlight problem areas: Designing how a user interacts with a product is a key step in figuring out where the issues may be in your task flows.
  • They provide a quick visual: Draw a User Flow diagram anytime you need to specify context and requirements for a system to operate, or model the flow of events in a given User Flow.

User Flows Step-by-Step

Begin your User Flow diagram with a head start.

Step 1 – Identify actors

Identify your actors. Actors are anybody interacting with your system. An actor can be a customer, user, person, system, or organization.

Step 2 – Outline the Objective 

Next, you need to clearly outline where you want your user to end up and more precisely determining what your user wants from your Product. 

Step 3 – Find how users find your Product

It’s essential to know how users find your product, especially when you are looking to improve it. to do that dig into the data. Is the majority of traffic coming organically, or is it paid? Are they coming through referral sites or Email?

These different entry points highlight how your customers are using your product and how you can cater it to their needs. More importantly, these points will be the entryway for your diagram.

Step 4 – Identify user needs and when they need

Now that we have the starting point out of the way, consider the information your user needs and what actions they should take moving forward. To ensure conversion you must showcase key information at the right time. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself during this stage: 

  1. What action should I take on this page if I were my customer? 
  2. How do I navigate the checkout process?
  3. If I were this customer, how would I feel about this testimonial video?

The key is to understand what your customer wants out of a certain page, how they might be thinking. 

It’s also important to analyze what’s already working for your users and break down the steps they’ve taken to reach where you want them to. Purchase is not the only important outcome, some customers may likely need several interactions with your site or product before completing a purchase. 

Note that any collected data about a user counts as an entryway! 

Step 5 – Map it out

Now that you know your user pretty well, you can understand their reason behind approaching your product, and the regular paths they tend to follow to perform various actions, you can now start mapping a user flow diagram. 

Make sure you use a visual tool that you’re comfortable with where you can drag and drop, annotate and collaborate with your team.  

  1. Begin with shapes that indicate entry points (organic, paid, etc). You can even use low-fidelity wireframe shapes here instead.
  2. Next, indicate the landing page and the next potential steps your customer can take until the flow reaches an outcome or end goal.

Your user flow diagram may likely change over time, depending on numerous factors such as your customer base, as well as their needs and motivations. 

Step 6 – Share and collect feedback

Regardless of what your product is, make sure to share your user flow diagram with UX designers, developers, engineers, and other stakeholders to gather essential feedback and make adjustments accordingly. Your user flow must make the experience you’re proposing obvious at a glance. 

TERM IN ACTION

“From the landing to the checkout page, our goal is to make our User Flow as enjoyable as possible.”

MORE RESOURCES

User Flow Design
Source: Medium

“Product Mindset: How to Get Inside Your Customer’s Mind”