How to create a user flow for mobile app?

So, you're looking for a way to make your app more user-friendly. User flows are one method that can help you do just that. A user flow is the path of someone using an app. It's where they start, what they do, and how they get to their goal in the most efficient way possible.

User flows can seem intimidating at first glance because so many details need to be considered. But after reading this guide, you will know more about user flow for mobile app and should be able to create your own without too much trouble!

What is a user flow?

User flows are visual representations of the process that users take through an application. The idea of a user flow is that it maps out the path from the first screen of your app to the last screen. It shows all the possible paths through your app or just a few of them. It can be something as easy as logging into an app to more complex tasks like booking travel arrangements.

User flow for mobile app
User flow for mobile app

User flow vs task flow

Task flow and user flow are similar in that they both analyze how users interact with different screens to complete a task. The difference is that while a task flow is a model of the linear steps a person goes through to complete an activity, user flows are models of how users move through an app.

A task flow chart depicts how users interact with screens to complete tasks. It can be used to identify opportunities for improvement by analyzing how difficult it is for users to navigate through your workflows or whether any dead-end screens are confusing or unnecessary. User flows are often used in games, while task flows are used in applications where one needs to complete a specific goal or level.

User flow illustration
User flow illustration
Task flow illustration
Task flow illustration

How to create user flow?

User flow must be considered throughout the design process because it will affect many aspects of your app, including its usability, accessibility, and performance. They can be created manually or with flowcharting software such as LucidChart, OmniGraffle,  and a huge variety of others.

User flows are not just pictures; they're tools for understanding how people use your app and where you might have missed something. When creating user flows for your app, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • user flows should be easy to understand and follow;
  • they should focus on the major tasks that people want to accomplish;
  • they should make it clear what each task leads to next;
  • they should include arrows (or other symbols) indicating which direction users will move as they complete their tasks;
  • a well-designed user flow will have no dead ends or loops and will guide users from one action to another without confusion;

To design a user flow for mobile apps, consider the following steps:

Step 1

Typically, you want to start by explaining what the app does and why someone would want to use it. It might seem obvious, but this step should not be overlooked as it will determine how you go about planning other steps. Gather data on what users need, what they do, and how often they do it.

Step 2

Identify the user's key actions. The best way to think about this is by imagining you are the person using the app. You would start at the main screen and take different routes depending on what you want to do. Brainstorm all the features that you want your app to have and create a list of screens or pages that will be used in your app.

Step 3

Next, figure out what actions are happening on each screen and decide how they relate to other screens in your app. Define what tasks are required to complete each step of your business process (e.g., adding an item to a cart). This will help you determine which screens should come before or after others. Detail screen specifications, such as which information and features are displayed on each screen. Once you've identified all the features, break them into groups based on their function (e.g., login page, menu page).

Step 4

Create a series of sketches that map out the different screens of your app and their interactions, showing how they will fit together and where any potential problems could arise. Map out each screen from start to finish, including inputs and outputs on each screen. Design screens with labels and descriptions of what you want users to do on them. Then define transitions between each screen by writing out what happens when someone taps a button or presses a link. It's important that these transitions are as smooth as possible and don't cause any confusion or frustration in the process.

Step 5

Test it! It is important to test your user flows on real users so that you can see how they navigate through it and spot any potential issues. Usability testing is one of the best tools in your arsenal to create a great user experience.

Why does your app should have user flow?

The purpose of a user flow is to give an overview of how the app will work and what each screen looks like. It ensures that all the steps required to complete their goal are clear and in place. It can also help you figure out unnecessary steps or things that could be done better to improve customer satisfaction and conversion rates.

They help designers plan out their screens and make sure they create an intuitive user experience. A good user flow will help you identify issues with your design or layout and where there is needed to improve the UX of your product. It also allows developers better understand how the app works, and what needs to be done, which saves time on both ends during native or hybrid app development. They're also good for showing stakeholders what users will do when accessing the app.

So yes, user flows are important

Mobile app is a necessity in today's society and business, and user flows are the backbone of any mobile application. They tell you where users will go, which features they'll use, and what they'll do when they get stuck. User flows, as a part of UX, also comply with mobile UI trends. With that being said, it's crucial to have a strong user flow for your mobile app.

Serhii Hyliuk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

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