UX Flowchart is a digital representation of user flows and tasks. A diagram connects labelled, standardised symbols with lines to show everything users can do in interactive contexts. In UX design, designers use UX flowchart as a multifaceted tool to identify, visualise and reflect how users navigate the product/service to meet their needs more efficiently. These interactions are further presented to the stakeholders with easily understood maps.
The description of a UX flowchart is quite detailed as it presents the associations between pages/screens to show all interactive possibilities as users utilise the interface:
- The starting points
- Actions required
- Moments of decision
UX flowchart also might take into account the various factors that impact users’ interactions, as it represents interactive sequences on two degrees:
User flow chart
A user flow chart is an overview of all the steps users might take through the app/website.
The above image can be considered a user flow chart example, where you would notice the user is creating a new todo task. He/she has to go through a sequence of steps to accomplish a task inside an app/a website.
Task flow chart
A task flow chart is the distinct aspects of those steps taken in a user flow chart. What distinguishes a task flow chart is its scope, which is relatively small and linear.
The above example states how a user can recover their password when they have forgotten it. As you can see, the flow of tasks is pretty linear compared to a user flow chart which would explain the step in detail.
UX Flowchart Tool(s)
One can either make UX flowcharts on paper or by hand or create a digital flowchart using UX flowchart tool(s) such as:
Wireflow is an open-source UX flowchart tool. It is mainly used to create prototypes of the user flow. It comes with 100+ customised in-built graphics and allows real-time collaboration.
Microsoft Visio is a broad-spectrum vector graphics application. It comes with numerous templates to choose from. The professional edition has a more extensive set of templates and layouts. If one has used MS office in the past, then they would find the interface quite similar. And this goes without saying, Microsoft Visio is not a free product, although it comes with a 30-days free trial.
OmniGraffle is a product from The Omni Group that specifically makes products for Mac and iOS. It is an easy-to-use app and comes with a 14-days free trial. One of its main features is that it offers design layers. It also provides a vast number of essential tools; however, the list of features that it provides is quite long. A professional will be more than happy to use such high-end features.
LucidChart is an app that can be used for diagramming and data visualisation. The app encourages networking allowing members to collaborate in real-time. Team members can brainstorm as they plan. Lucidchart only runs on browsers supporting HTML5 and doesn’t require third party updates. It has a free version with essential features and a paid version with its best features.
Besides, a UX designer/team can also UX flowchart cards as a structure and planning tool. These cards can be used as a starting point to plan a website/an app. A UX designer/team can structure their designs by using crafted cards. A digital plugin of UX flowchart cards is also available for Figma and Sketch.
How to use UX flowchart tool efficiently?
UX Flowchart is imperative as the final product’s success depends on how well the UX designers model the flow to meet the users’ requirements without overlooking the business goals. Also, UX Flowchart is an excellent way for the developers to figure out how the system will work to avoid confusion. The lack of interaction with wireframes, and low-fidelity prototypes might cause misinterpretation, and to prevent that, UX flowchart is made to focus on a usable product. It is required for a UX designer to consider the user while designing a flow. To do that, they need to define:
- Personas: representing the target audience, the ones for whom the UX designer is preparing for.
- Business goals: Define what the product offers and what the UX designer expects the user to do within their domain.
- Entry points: how the users reach the product, whether through a web browser or via Play tore of Appstore.
Make UX Flowchart mapping all likelihoods
UX designer/team dismember complicated processes into concise flowcharts. They can also pick from a range of software to generate digital flowcharts with various features.
To accurately reflect the experience of the users via a flowchart, the following should be incorporated:
- Define users and their requirements through user research.
- Define how the product helps the user solve their problem.
- The tasks (and subtasks) from the entry point to the completion of the goal.
- Identify how the users will form their impressions around the design.
- Map out task sequences for the users to quickly accomplish without getting confused or frustrated.
Some of the best examples of a UX flowchart will reflect the empathy towards the users at each stage corresponding to their customer journey maps.
UX flowchart symbols
As I mentioned before, the UX flowchart is a diagram of a process for an app/a website using a set of standard symbols and connecting lines. It has a regulated set of symbols and conventions.
Now let me take you through the most commonly used UX flowchart symbols used in the design process along with their meaning –
This shape symbolises the Start or End in a flowchart.
A rectangle is among the most commonly used UX flowchart symbols. This shape symbolises steps in the process.
This shape symbolises input or output in a UX flowchart.
This shape symbolises decisions. It is a shape which will split the UX flowchart with the help of arrows.
This arrow is used to represent the flow direction. Together with a rectangle, it becomes the go-to symbol.
The above is another example with a user flow chart to show the readers how the various UX flowchart symbols work. The above user flow chart example is an illustration that shows how a user goes through an eCommerce site right up to purchase confirmation.
Making a UX flowchart before the beginning of the design process helps reduce misunderstandings about specifications and rework.
Designing flows with a UX flowchart is a fantastic way to step into the user’s shoes and to ensure that the product prioritises their needs. UX flowcharts can heighten the UX design process with minimal effort.