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Understanding User Flow in Product Management.

by Ibukunoluwa Ogundare
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User Flow is a visual representation of the Journey of a user from the beginning of a task till the task/goal is completed in your software. It is a visual representation of how the user moves through a website or application. It shows what happens at each step along the way. These steps are called user flows because they reflect the path a user takes while navigating a website or app.

One of the tools used to create a user flow is Figma. The limited version of Figma can be accessed for free with basic features. The goal of user flows is to help teams understand the processes a typical user undertakes to complete a task. This gives perspective on how to optimize the process to reduce redundancy time.

A user flow can be a chart or diagram showing the path a user will take in an application to complete a task. Product teams build user flows to design products, present the correct information to users at the right time, and allow users to complete desired tasks in as few steps as possible. Having an efficient user flow can also help make goals on your software completed instead of being left undone due to bugs that might be in a particular step.

Taking a typical user story of a feature on WhatsApp:

As a user of Whatsapp messaging, I want to type a text so that I can send a message.

The user flow of this simple task will be that the user downloads and installs WhatsApp if it has not already been downloaded. Then the user will have to register for an account with his/her number. After setting up their WhatsApp, they import their contacts and search for the person they want to write to.  Subsequently, they then type out the message and send the message to the recipient.

All the steps listed are what is required for a user to get a message across. The product team identifies all actions taken before the goal is achieved. They also optimize the point of action which will make the process much more seamless. This is one of the major importance of a user flow.

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