Before going in detail, let’s understand the concept of User Flow in context with a real-life example. Let’s start…
Suppose, you visited a departmental store where you thought to shop for different products. Firstly, you went to the Footwear section and added some pair of shoes into a cart. Afterward, you went to the Cosmetics section and added some skin care products to your cart. Then, you decided to buy some clothes and went to the Garments section. But, because of prolonged shopping, you were starving with hunger, so you first decided to eat something at the Food Court and then continue with the rest of your shopping. Later, again you went to the Garments section and put some clothes in your cart. Finally, you went to the Billing section and made a transaction at once of all your added goods.
This entire story has briefly explained the paths that you followed in the departmental store, ranging from:
Footwear → Cosmetics Section → Garments section → Food Court →Garments Section → Billing Section
Anyways, this was a usual example that happens with all of us, most of the times. Now, imagine that the departmental store is an app and different sections in the store are the screens in the app. So, in the context of a store, it’s not necessary that a customer would explore it entirely from section to section in a sequence. It all depends on his choices and preferences for what purpose and how he hovers inside the store. Similarly, in the case of an app, a user also navigates from screen to screen depending on his preference and choices.
The above-mentioned example stated that the customer (user) did his shopping visiting different sections (paths followed by him) and made a transaction (performed some task).
Now, it will be a bit easier for you to understand the app’s User Flow.
What is User Flow?
A series of screens depicting entry (inflow) and exit (outflow) of a user including the steps that a user performs to complete a certain task. The most visited screen comprises of the series seen by a user. Every app has some most viewed screens which AdGyde Mobile Measurement Tool easily identifies and helps the Product Owner in discovering the most preferred screens within the app assisting them to improve the app’s performance via transparent User Flow analysis.
In AdGyde’s dashboard, the grey lines show the users navigation within screens, wherein, pink lines show outflow and blue lines show the user’s inflow.
Furthermore, User Flow can also be in two different forms i.e. Branched and Linear. Let’s understand the concept more deeply with the help of another example:
A User Flow of booking a car ride might seem like:
• Checking pickup location on the map
• Choose a specific destination
• Select a type of ride (single or share)
• Confirming a ride
• Mode of payment
However, this is a relevant example of briefing a Linear User Flow but as stated above, it is rarely linear and might comprise of some different nodes.
A User Flow of buying an article could be presented with varied iterations because there are numerous ways that a user might take. Suppose, in an E-Commerce app, a user first visited the Footwear page, Accessories page, Clothing page and again back to Accessories page, Add to the Cart page and then to the Transaction page to make a final payment then, all such navigational paths of different screens will show different branches.
Footwear → Accessories → Clothing → Accessories →Add to Cart → Transaction Page
Hence, User Flow is often demonstrated with nodes for significant navigational paths.
Here, AdGyde helps in identifying the most and least visited screens inside the dashboard. The substantially thicker lines indicate most of the users following the same paths coupled with inflow and outflow from screen to screen. Also, the most and least preferred paths indicate the variations in your offerings via which you can enhance the app’s performance including its overall effectiveness.
Prior to enlightening more detailed concept of User Flow, there would be a lot of brainstorming questions in your mind like:
• What’s the purpose of User Flow?
• How it enhances the app’s performance?
• Which path does a user prefer the most while navigating inside the app?
The answer to all such questions is here…
Creating a worthy, interactive and unique User Flow ensures the better UX. Whereas, there could be numerous ways followed by the users. Thus, the specific ways could be improved that simultaneously lead the improvement in the UX. Several times, most of the users use the same paths on which you can enhance more to make it user-friendly for them. Hence, “the smoother the flow, the easiest will be the user’s journey within the app”. Therefore, we understand that figuring out how does a user move inside the app is essential.
At a glance, User Flow assesses both the majority and minority of the user navigating from one screen to another. Thus, drilling towards the specific screens, Product Owner can easily obtain powerful insights vis a vis user’s intent as well as usability.
Several times, User Flow doesn’t have to be linear for all the apps. Starting off with simpler routes, it is helpful in determining the key user journey which can often evolve into the complex flows. Discovering such paths, it becomes beneficial in chopping out the complex flows and hence, leads in better app performance.
“A path can be set within the app but, what path does a user would opt cannot be defined”. Whereas, clutter-free screens holding a clear visual hierarchy can help you in determining the User Flow with the good app performance.
So, enhance more of your app’s performance by determining your navigating users while measuring their preferred paths that work the best.