What are user flows for UX Design
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Published on January 10, 2015
A user flow is the sequence of steps that a user takes on a website to complete a particular task, such as purchasing a product, making a reservation, and subscribing to a mailing list. Creating the right user flow is essential for optimizing the user experience (UX) and maximizing the conversion rate for that website. UX classes cover the many factors involved in determining user needs and creating the best users flow for a website or app.
Entry Points for user flows
An entry point is the means by which a user first accesses the website. A UX designer establishes entry points that allow users to flow through the site towards their final goal. An organic search in which the user enters the website after a keyword search is one of the most common entry points. Users may also enter a website through some type of promotion such as pay-per-click advertising or banner ads. Additional entry points may include social media, direct links and e-mail.
Stacking user flows
UX designers often stack user flows so the user can accomplish more than one specific task on the website. For example, a user may need to join a mailing list and also purchase a product. In this case, the first user flow might be to click on an ad to go to the landing page, which would allow the user to join a mailing list. The second user flow in this example involves the user receiving e-mail with a link to the product page. This page should allow the user to add the product to the cart and complete the purchase.
UX factors involved in ecommerce flows
A UX designer must understand the user's motivations in order to determine the best user flow. This generally requires the designer to know the problems that users may have and why they're trying to sell it. Understanding factors that may cause users to hesitate in purchasing the product or service offered on the website is also important.
UX training helps improve user flows
The principals involved with defining and creating useful user flows are covered in UX workshops and UX classes. Understanding how to identify, document, and address user needs through a user flow is one of the many useful concepts that is incorporated into user experience training programs.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.