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User flows, a visualization or flowchart of steps (interactions) a user needs to take to complete a specific task on a website or app. In this article I’ve written down four reasons why the User flow is important in the design process.

User flows can have different looks depending on where you are in the design process. One variation I’ve been working with a lot is Wireflows, instead of using text and illustrative images I’m using wireframes to create the flowchart. This means important components are included and available for improvement at the same time as the flow develops.

Image: Example of Wireflow

 

Four reasons why User flows are important in the design process.

 

1. Communication

I’ve experienced how effective Wireflows are when communicating with the client. This type of presentation is very understandable for non-designers, which makes it easier to discuss the design and the functions of the platform with the client during the process.

 

2. Focus on experience not design details

By working with User flows the focus is on the experience and needs of the user not the small design details on the screens. A flow presents an overall picture and gives an opportunity to create a more seamless user experience.

Some flow highlights are entries and exits, how the system acts and its connection with the users interactions. A flow also shows the number of decision points, which is where the user needs to do an active choice.

Design the experience not the looks.

 

3. Documentation

User flow is a perfect tool to document the design process and the work user interactions points. When you go back to a project, it is easier to remember how and why some decisions were made.

 

4. Collaboration

Wireflows are a good way of collaborate in a team, to communicate the design with developers, project managers or if other designers are joining the project. Communication is key to a great product.

During a workshop Wireflows are an effective tool to work with. The workshop participants can discuss and quickly develop and test new flows.

Wireflows increases the speed between iterations and improves the communication within the team.

 

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