On the eighth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a shorthand way to design user flows

After yesterday’s brainstorming, you will have lots of ideas about your product. Today, let’s take the next step by organising them into a sitemap or user flow! 

Before we get started, think of an app you know that feels effortless to use — the transitions are smooth, the options are easy to understand, and your journey through the product allows you to accomplish your goal. 

When designing an app, product, or service, this is the kind of user experience that results from a well thought-out sitemap and user flow. 

Creating a sitemap involves asking questions like these:

  • How many screens or pages are needed in total? (“In total” is important, because the purpose of a sitemap is to show all the possible stages in a user’s interaction with the product.)

  • How are the screens/pages/groups related to one another? What order or hierarchy do they follow?

Creating a user flow involves asking questions like these:

  • What is the user trying to accomplish? What are their primary and secondary goals? (It’s important to keep the user’s goals and fears in view throughout the process.)

  • How can the transitions between stages be smooth? How will the user move through the app, website, service without getting stuck?

  • What are the features of the product? What are the most frequently performed actions? What decisions is the user taking before undertaking an action? How long should each action take to complete?

5 minute challenge: Based on the image above, sketch the first draft of a sitemap for your app or product. If you need some inspiration, check out these examples over at creately.

30 minute challenge: There are different ways to depict a user flow. The most formal is a flowchart diagram, like the one in the image above. To start the challenge, first read through this article at signalvsnoise, which outlines a quick and dirty method for drafting user flows. Next, think about what other questions you think you should ask about the sitemap and user flow in relation to your product, and add 2 or 3 questions to the starter list given above. Finally, create a user flow for your app or product using the shorthand method explained in the article.

More UXmas challenges

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Patrick Multani & Andrew Wilshere

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