The term ’Flow map’ originally comes from cartography. It is a particular combination of maps and flow diagrams, where the width of the arrows is proportional to the flow rate — the so-called Sankey diagrams.
Flow maps are used to portray animal migrations, money flow, the traffic of goods and people, etc. The arrows show direction, while the width illustrates the quantity. If we were to answer the question “What is a flow map?”, we would say it is a handy instrument to show any particular movement because it provides two types of data at the same time — location and volume.
Flow maps are important because they demonstrate the contrast in the quantity of a huge variety of items spread over a vast territory. That provides a robust image of changes in weather and traffic patterns, visuals of historic events and military actions, and so on. There are several types of flow maps — network, radial, and distribution maps.
Radial maps display connections between a point and numerous directions via divided lines of specified width, resembling spokes. The accurate route here does not matter as much as the general direction, incoming or outcoming. For instance, this network flow map demonstrates the volume of commodities trading:
Distribution flow maps, like radial maps, only show a schematic path from the object to the destination. They have other structures, though — flow lines that diverge to destination points. As an example, this flow map illustrates the spread of a disease:
There’s a special type of flow map tailored to the creative process. It is called a process map, a flowsheet, or a process flowchart. It shows the set of actions you need in order to reach a particular goal.
Process mapping helps to enhance work efficiency, providing a better understanding of each stage of the process. It is used in manufacturing, management, the provision of services, and digital production. Process mapping highlights areas of potential improvement, and it demonstrates the ideas behind the process to the entire working team — everyone is aware of where to go and what to do. Finally, process maps clear up the document flow and help to build up a working plan.
To create a process map offline, you need to have a board with stickers and do the following:
Our tools were created to design process flowcharts, as well as build and analyze various user behavior scenarios on the site.
With the help of our visual sitemaps, webmasters can see their projects from the outside, correctly assess the load on the development team members, and evenly distribute tasks between them. This is in many ways similar to cartography - in particular, with the construction of a Flow Map or Sankey diagrams. That's why we named our company that way.
FlowMapp tools specialize in strategic website planning and user experience analysis. Although all of these products focus on web design, they can be used by a wide range of other professionals, like developers, copywriters, designers, researchers, marketers, product managers, etc.
Here are the tools FlowMapp currently offers: