UX 101: How to create user flows
Planning before working on a design
What is a user flow?
A user flow is a diagram that displays the complete path a user takes to achieve a meaningful goal.
The user flow lays out a user’s movement through the product, mapping out each step from the entry point to the final interaction.
Steps in creating a user flow
#1 Determine your users’ objectives
Identify your user and their goal. What does your user want to achieve while using your app/website? These tasks may include signing up for an account, purchasing a flight ticket, or listening to a podcast.
#2 Note where the user enters the app/website
Users may not always enter an app or a website from the home page. There could be multiple entry points.
For example, when you click on a product link your friend shared, you’ll enter a product page if the app is on your device. Similarly, when you click on a push notification, you’ll open an app via the landing page linked to the push notification.
#3 Identify what information or tools your users need
Note the information or tools the user needs to complete a step.
For example, when you book a flight ticket on a website, you may be asked to input your passport details to complete the booking. To track the steps you take in a day, you need a smartwatch to do so.
#4 Map users’ paths from their entry pages toward the final action
How would a user interact with your app/website? List the chronological steps a user will take from start to finish. Simplify the steps so that the flows are focused and clear.
An example of the steps to buying a cup of coffee:
- Enter a coffee shop.
- Wait in line.
- Place an order at the counter.
- Pay for the coffee.
- Wait for the coffee in the waiting section.