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How to create the user flow design?

Website design now isn’t like “how it looks” – it’s about “how it works”. That’s why the user flow has appeared as a definition of how your clients feeling and acting on the website. How to make your user flow smooth rather than a gushing stream?

What is User Flow?

Before creating or improving the user flow, you have to define what it really means. Briefly, it’s all website user actions, taken him to reach his goal. It is also called “client’s journey”. The simplest example of user flow is “homepage – product page – order and payment”. But client’s goals are not only about buying something – they may want to subscribe to your news or get some information as well.

User flow is about seeing things from the client's side. To create a good one you should think about:

  • user’s goals;
  • user’s values;
  • information for the user to get the goal;
  • possible barriers, able to stop the user.

Most common user flows

Typical user flows are:

  • Organic search – when the user came using a deep link from his search.
  • Advertising – when a client came from ad or banner.
  • Email – user clicked on the link from the newsletter or some referral link.
  • Social media – client came from a post on a social network.
  • Press – someone mentioned you in the news or article.
  • Direct link – when the user visits your site regularly and saves or remembers your address.

You need to understand that all types of users have different needs and expectations. So you may offer them different flows to get their goals. Trying to create it, think about where your users are expected to be, clicking on the link, leading to your site. It’s the first step of your user flow strategy. Then create some smooth routes to get them where they want. And where you need them to be.

FAQ for the user flow

There are some questions you should ask yourself to create the better user flow.

What makes your business unique? Why users are coming to your site? And how you display your most valuable product?
Who is your audience? And which of the features is the most demanded one for them? Which features are most compatible with the different type of users?
What do your clients (each different group) need more? People often may need something extra, not only one service or product they came for.
Where could be the bottlenecks? What stops the users?
What do clients know about your product, service, terms, and conditions? And how to make the most important information available when users need it?
What is able to stop users at each step of sales (or conversion) funnel? Maybe, you have some leaks?
What can you do to help users? It’s a logical continuation of the previous step, but not only. Sometimes, you don’t have a problem with the user flow but a little help can make it even better.

Draw your user flow

The most popular way to visualize your user flows – diagrams. Each block consists of two next sentences: “What user sees” and “What user does” (one below other). Develop your user flow in a logical way, trying to live up with expectations of your clients. Give users what they need in a place they expect. And only after you draw user flow diagrams you will be able to set a correct task to web-designers.

Test, analyze and improve your user flow

Creating a smooth client journey isn’t an exact science. That’s why you should test your new user flow first. A/B testing may be the better option for this. And even if the things go right it doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Analyze your user flow and improve it, where it seemed necessary to.

Why user flow is important

No matter you create a completely new website or improving the old one. If you don’t take the user flow into account you could create a website, which raises questions such “what am I supposed to do here?”. Visualization of your client’s journey – it’s your chance to avoid such mistakes and save money on website development and re-design. Moreover, professionals ask you to develop your user flow or even help to create it before start working.

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