In your efforts to enhance user experience, mastering the skill of making a user flow diagram is going to be indispensable.
A user flow diagram allows you to better understand how visitors are interacting with your website or application. What steps do they take before completing a task on your site? Are they reaching any worthwhile goals on your site? Does your site’s design encourage the actions you hope for them to take once they arrive on your website?
All these questions underscore the importance of a user flow diagram in user experience (UX) design, but before that, let’s look at what is a flow diagram.
Defining User Flow
User flow refers to all the steps users take when they reach your site to complete a task. It details these steps in sequence—from the entry point to the final action such as buying your product. It also segments and defines user experience on your site.
To visualize this journey, most UX designers utilize flowcharts.
Making A User Flow Diagram
A user flow, or at least an effective one, is not a product of your best estimates but should be based on careful data analysis. Creating a user flow diagram entails the following steps:
1. Identify Your Objectives And Those Of Your Users
To create a user flow diagram, you’ll need a clear idea of your goals. Where do you want a user to end up? When you couple this with knowledge of where your potential users want to go, then you have the key to creating a user flow that doesn’t waste anybody’s time.
The goal when mapping a user’s journey through your site is to figure out if there are any blind spots, any lags that are serving neither you nor the user, even though these might seem necessary at the outset. What you want and what the client wants must converge somewhere and this needs to happen soon, making the user experience positive and straightforward.
2. Determine How Users Find Your Site
In crafting a user flow diagram, it’s essential to know how users find your website or app. In other words, where are they coming from? Is it through direct traffic, organic search, social media, paid advertising, email, or referral sites?
Use these entry points to help you understand your users better and consequently improve user experience. These entry points are where your user flowchart begins.
3. Know What Your Users Need
You’re looking for your site to generate leads and for these leads to convert to sales. To do so, you need to offer the right thing at the right time. If you know your customers well enough, then you’ll know what content or information to include in each page, which page should come first, how the pages are connected, and so on. Try putting yourself in the shoes of your customer as you ask some crucial questions. What action would you take on this particular page? Is the check-out process straightforward enough, that is, moving logically? At a certain stage of the buying journey, how would a particular testimonial video make you feel?
If you’re redesigning an existing site, check what’s already working. And it’s not just about the purchase. Sometimes it takes more than a single visit to finally arrive at a purchase, so it’s critical to ensure all other areas are at their optimum.
4. Map Out The User Flow
Now that you have sufficient information about your potential users and the paths they most likely follow when performing various actions, you may start mapping out your user flow diagram. There are many visual workspaces that’ll enable you to do this. Choose one that works best for you.
There are three main steps that your user flow diagram should include—entry points, main steps, and the final step. You may use rectangles and circles to represent the different steps involved in the process, then use lines and arrows to connect the steps.
To show what the website or application will look like and where your call to action will be, low fidelity wireframe shapes could work just as well as geometric ones. So, don’t worry about that, just take a pick.
Next, decide which one will be the landing page and the call to action on that page. Create more shapes and indicate various decision points until the user flow diagram is finished.
Keep in mind that your user flow diagram is subject to change, depending on whether your audience is changing and in what direction.
Once you finish mapping out your user flow, review it with your team, and make adjustments as needed. Afterward, you can have actual users test it out and see how they navigate their way through your site, noting additional areas for improvement and finetuning the diagram accordingly. With this, you can create an exceptional user experience for your customers, which could eventually translate to more sales for your business.