UX flow diagram: key principles of design

Designers can be perceived as some kind of bridge between developers and the product’s end users. They must stick to the existing technology stack, user needs, business goals, and, of course, design requirements. To solve this complex task, they may need a proper tool, user flow

FlowMapp user flow tool interface

Advantages you get with
User flow

User flow is a diagram that visualizes the path users take from opening an app or website to completing the target action. Let’s find out what advantages it provides:

Convenient UI

A well-designed user flow (check out the examples here) allows you to create a convenient and intuitive interface through reduction of cognitive load and simplification of decision-making processes. In addition, it will be easier for users to navigate the UI.

Better user retention

If an app or website satisfies all the needs of the people using it, they will come back to your solution many times over.

Increased conversion rates

With the help of user flow, you can get rid of barriers that deprive your company of additional income - for example, you can implement quick registration, 1-click purchases, or subscriptions.

Cost efficiency

Thanks to user flow, you can eliminate unnecessary screens and, thus, save your client’s budget on design, development, maintenance, and more.

Better accessibility

When your team uses user flow, they can create more engaging experiences that will be accepted by a wider range of users.

Informed design decisions

Developers can analyze user flow and obtain valuable information regarding user preferences and behavior. This way, they can create interfaces that are perceived positively by their audience.

Read about the different types of user flows for various tasks in the article here

Best tips to create a user flow

Before you start creating a user flow, you need to study the digital solution and all its accompanying processes. So, here’re the tips we promised to provide.

Make it clear to everyone

Your main goal is to create the most easy-to-complete user flow that can be read by both developers and people completely far from IT. Therefore, avoid complex designs or functions because all navigation elements should be simple and predictable. If users find it inconvenient to use your product, they will prefer one with a simpler interface.

FlowMapp user flow tool interface combined with visual sitemap page cards

Write user stories and create personalized entry points

To describe the functionality of your product in a more understandable language, write user stories. This will give a vision of how your project should turn out in the end in the eyes of its target audience.

FlowMapp user flow tool interface showing ebook offer by email

When you have completed user stories, you need to clearly define the entry points of your application or website through which the users will access it. Customers can access your solution through different ways such as keywords and direct traffic. Depending on which entry points they use, you may need to change the user flow and create personalized entry points.

Use a minimal amount of shapes

When creating a user flow, keep simplicity in mind, avoiding cluttering your diagram with too many shapes, because your goal is that everyone 
can apply it. For example, you can use shapes like this:

Rounded rectangle that denotes the beginning and end of the stream

Diamond that implies the design needs to be done to continue

Rectangle that can be used to designate certain processes

FlowMapp user flow tool: different types of logical shapes, connected with arrows

Specify the values of all shapes

Create a legend with all the designations of figures and processes in your user flow since it can be read by people who don’t understand what all they mean. In basic flows, there are two characters only, the user and the system. Depending on user flow’s complexity, your legend can include a list like this:

Rectangles that represent action

Diamonds that represent a decision

Circles/ovals that indicate start and end points

Arrows that identify user navigation

logical shapes uses in user flow design: rectangles, ovals, circles, arrows, diamonds, and others

Use real web pages

If you want to make your user flow as understandable as possible, just insert real website pages into your diagram. In addition, you can use other visual elements such as emojis, screenshots and pictures.

FlowMapp user flow tool interface. User flow with logical shapes and sitemap page cards, connected by arrows

Don't clutter with text

Make short and clear inscriptions that will not overload the user flow of unnecessary information. This way, the processes of analyzing and optimizing your user flow will become much easier than ever before.

Sitemap page card inside a user flow

Make the UX more personalized

Pay attention to personalizing the user experience to interest and retain the consumers. Analyze their parameters and, based on these insights, provide your audience with recommendations and suggestions according to their interests.

FlowMapp user flow tool combined with sitemap. Sites page cards with preview of a page content, connected with arrows to show user flow

One user flow – one target action

Don’t combine several actions at once in one user flow. This will ultimately make each of these actions more difficult to complete and will hide simpler and shorter scenarios from your attention.

FlowMapp user flow tool interface: example of user flow

Sometimes, there is no better tool than visualization

If you have a general picture of the path that a user should take when navigating your website or application, then a visual sitemap may be an excellent solution for you. This way, you will be able to outline not only the steps of this path but also the covers of pages with approximate content.

FlowMapp Visual sitemap design tool interface. Page covers connected by Lines. Each page cover shows short information about page content in the form of text blocks or visual schematic content structure

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