What Is User Flow?
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi invented the concept of flow in UX design. He considers it a highly concentrated mental state where the user is immersed in what he is doing and the task he wants to accomplish. User flows help designers understand and anticipate users’ cognitive patterns to create products that enable this flow state. For example, user flows or UX flows are diagrams that show the complete journey when using a site. User flow describes the user’s movement through the site, mapping each of its stages, from the point of entry to the final interaction. In this article,
WHAT IS USER FLOW?
Let’s start with a quick etymological reminder. User flow consists of “user,” which means user, and “flow,” which means flow. A user flow can therefore be defined as a visual representation of the path taken by an end-user on a website, an application, to accomplish a certain task. Before we dive into the ins and outs of user flow, it’s important to mention the difference between a user flow and a user journey, as these two terms can easily be confused.
The user journey mainly focuses on navigating an interface’s internal experience, such as emotions, pain points, or frustrations. A user flow is supposed to represent the observed behavior of a user interacting with an interface. User flow typically begins with the user’s arrival at the home page of an app or website. It ends with final action, such as purchasing a product and sending a contact form or subscribing to a given service (newsletter, social networks, etc.).
UX designers typically create and use user flows to understand better how users interact with a design. They also show the shortcomings and shortages that a user faces during the steps to achieve a certain goal. It teaches how designers can optimize the UX design of their website to streamline the user’s journey to taking a certain action.
For designers to create user flows that are perfectly aligned with the end user’s needs, they must understand what they need to optimize their experience. This is done through design thinking, which is an empathetic approach with the customer by closely following their feedback to meet their needs. In general, the following questions are essential in the process of creating user flows:
- What is the user trying to accomplish?
- What are the potential steps the user can take to complete this task?
- How can these steps be optimized to shorten or simplify navigation to the task?
- What are the elements that hinder the accomplishment of this task?
The answers to these questions give designers insight into priority UX elements and how they should design pages. If the user’s primary goal is to purchase a product, the page or screens should be designed so that the user is directed to the product page and the buy button. It’s up to the designer to use their knowledge and experience to create a design that stimulates that particular action.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR USER FLOW?
There are several ways to improve your user flows. In the next part, we’ll show you some important points where to start.
Focus On The Conversion Path
Make sure you understand where your visitors are going and how they get there. For example, suppose a user finds your app/site from an advertisement, lands on your product page, and makes a purchase (converting). You want this journey to be as short and efficient as possible from start to finish: fast page loading, clear calls to action, and easy to fill out form fields in the “checkout” section. All of these can help improve conversion.
Consider All Types Of Visitors
It’s common for a site or app to have multiple types of visitors, regardless of what products you’re selling. There may be a subset of users coming to your site even though your marketing strategy was not aimed at them.
For example, you sell cosmetics for women, but you have many male visitors buying for women. By reaching out to this specific group, you will target them with ads and landing pages that directly address their needs. Otherwise, you risk misleading a large number of users and lowering your conversion rate.
Keep Your Content Concise
For visitors to stay focused on their task, the content should be concise and to the point. If you direct your traffic to a landing page with a lot of content, users may be put off by the amount of text to read and therefore are more likely to bounce back. By keeping the content concise, you’ll drive more traffic to your goals or CTAs. Also, be careful not to be too sketchy and sacrifice clarity for length. Aim for digestible content and always try to get an outside person’s perspective.
Use Graphics And Videos
Graphics and videos can be an effective way to engage and guide users in their experience. But it’s easy to abuse a good thing. Make sure that each piece of content serves a purpose and complements the next, not random and only distracting.
Test Your Content
A / B testing is a simple and effective way to learn more about your users and improve your landing pages. Does the page convert better with a one or two-step form? Are users more inclined to register with the form on the left or right of the screen? In addition to the different designs and visuals, you can test the code, loading screens, page speed, etc.
User Flow: Analyze Your Visitors’ Devices
Analyze which devices are used to visit your site and make sure that the user experience is satisfactory for each of them. If your site is viewed overwhelmingly on mobile, it should be appropriate for the size of the device, the most popular browser, and the operating system. If your site primarily receives visitors through desktops, consider the variety of browsers and screen resolutions.