Is your company planning a website redesign or creating a brand-new site? This is a great opportunity to think about the user flow within your digital presence.
User flow encompasses the many ways website visitors find what they’re looking for on your website. Depending on the size and nature of your site, there may be dozens or even hundreds of ways website visitors navigate your site. A clear user flow helps customers reach their end goal, no matter where they entered your website and how they got there.
The user interface and technical features you use on your website will be influenced by where customers want to go within your website.
The customer journey encompasses each step a potential customer takes before buying your product or service: awareness, interest, intent, evaluation, purchase and retention. These steps could happen online (through digital marketing, social media and on a review website, your website or a third-party seller’s website) or offline (TV ads, word of mouth, your store or another retailer).
In comparison, a user flow takes into account what a website visitor sees and how they act within your website to help them reach a solution to their problem.
To create a better user flow within your website, it can help to map out variations on paper, just as you would when building any other infrastructure. A well-planned user flow identifies pages where website visitors may feel “stuck.” Eliminating these dead ends encourages website visitors to say on your site until their complete their goal, which is likely making a purchase.
A brainstorm session with a whiteboard or sticky notes is a great way to start mapping your user flow. Once a basic user flow is created in this informal setting, transferring the “map” to a classic flowchart can make it easier to share it with anyone from your company’s leadership to your web designers.