Show how users move through your product
Given the importance UX and UI play in today's best products, it's imperative for product manager and designers to be in lockstep. To help product managers and designers stay on the same page, we created our user flow template in partnership with Mike Edmonds, chief experience officer at Moonshot by Pactera EDGE.
Think of the user flow as a visual way to describe requirements and dependencies that inform the experience of your product. In short, a user flow makes the job of a designer easier, which makes for a more symbiotic relationship between product and design.
A user flow is a visual diagram that represents the steps a user takes in an application in order to accomplish a certain task or goal.
Each user flow will have different entries and objectives, which are mapped out and show the user’s actions throughout the app.
A user flow sets a solid foundation for development and design teams to understand the features and content that are necessary for an app user to achieve their objectives. The visual representation helps teams align on priorities and share a vision of the application and user experience.
With user flows, you ensure that the user’s needs are centered in all development advances and help visually guide the team through the tasks that need to be accomplished.
This helps teams spot conflicts or opportunities early on in the design process, speed up development, and avoid any confusion related to tasked project responsibilities.
With MURAL’s User Flow template, you can easily personalize the user flow diagram to suit your needs.
Whether you need to differentiate tasks by colors or represent different teams with icons, MURAL’s templates offer the flexibility your team needs to quickly find where they should focus their time and show how their responsibilities affect the rest of the user flow.
Make sure your user flow meetings are running smoothly and on time with MURAL’s timer. The timer is visible to every participant and helps ensure that the meeting is running at a good pace.
Keep every team member accountable and on track with MURAL’s tags. This feature helps delegate responsibilities as well as adds a layer of transparency for team members to know who to ask for help or progress reports.
Before starting a user flow, you need to have a clear understanding of the user’s objectives.
This will aid you in clearly defining the steps of a user flow that would make the user’s experience as smooth and valuable as possible.
Ask yourself these questions before starting your user flow template:
1. Identify actors
To start, place each actor onto a separate sticky note. Actors are identified as anyone or anything that will interact with your product, for example, a user, a system, or an organization.
Once your actors have been identified, use the bullseye diagram to prioritize actors. Each sticky note with actors should be individually placed closer to the bullseye center the more relevant it is, or farther from the bullseye center the less relevant it is. This will give you insight into where to start your focus.
2. Collect information
Once your highest priorities are identified, gather information and discuss how each actor will find and use your product.
A good practice is to start with the goal or objective you want your actor to achieve. Then, work your way back to understand how they got there.
Here’s an example with the questions you should ask:
3. Map it out
Once the channels, actions, and objectives have been defined, move each element to the “map” section with connectors to illustrate the flow of actions.
In these steps, you can also add shapes and colors to represent logistics and complete the flow.
In the example below, you can see how each action connects with another until, eventually, the actor reaches the objective — buying the product.
4. Share feedback and collect ideas
Once the user flow template is complete, you will have a visual map to illustrate the user flow to any relevant stakeholder. With this visual aid, you will be able to gather helpful feedback from designers, engineers, developers, and any stakeholder.
This step is important as it will enhance your user flow and make sure everyone is aligned with the same goal and vision for the product or service.