A user flow is a series of web pages that define a visitor or task. It includes the steps that a user performs to complete the task, during a website visit or other UX process.
A user flow is like looking at directions from point A to point B. You can see which routes to take, where to turn and the miles it takes to get there. These specifics help you get to your destination with efficiency. This low level view allows you to feel how much time and effort it takes to complete a task.
It’s the path a user follows through your website interface to complete a task (make a reservation, purchase a product, subscribe to something). It’s also called user journey.
Next time you’re thinking about designing a site (design is not just how it looks, but how it works), start with figuring out what user flows you are trying to create through the website.
In order to do this you need to know 2 things:
- Your business objectives. It’s the action you want visitors to take on the site.
- User objectives, the desires or needs that they want to satisfy.
So start with being clear about your own goals and identify each user objective to create design flows that meet all of them.
Flows aren’t just for designers to look at. They’re a way to share the site vision with everyone on your team. When everyone has a map, they’ll feel more comfortable about where they’re going.
Users will benefit from flows as well. They’ll get a better navigation and page flow experience because you took the time to plan it out.
A site and user flow can influence the user experience at an architectural level. When you make them a necessary part of your design process, everyone benefits.
- Laja, P. (2017). Build it with the user in mind: How To Design User Flow. [online] CXL. Available at: https://conversionxl.com/how-to-design-user-flow/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
- Uxmovement.com. (2017). Site Flows vs. User Flows: When to Use Which – UX Movement. [online] Available at: http://uxmovement.com/wireframes/site-flows-vs-user-flows-when-to-use-which/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
- Orbit Media Studios. (2017). User Flow Analysis using Google Analytics: Examples for every website owner. [online] Available at: https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/user-flow-google-analytics/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].