How To Create a User Flow To Increase Conversions

Listen to the reading of this post

Here at 434, we describe the websites we build as “user-first digital experiences.” And we mean that. We don’t create anything until we first dig into what kinds of users will be interacting with our projects. We take the time to understand our clients’ offerings and their ideal customers to form the foundation of the bridge we build between the two.

We believe the optimal approach to building a new website is to develop this deep understanding. Once we fully grasp a client’s customers, we use our findings to build buyer personas. Once we understand their customers’ buying process, we can then plot a customer’s journey. And once we know how those customers should interact with a website, we create what’s called a user flow. For our clients, this is all then packaged into documents and reports to reference throughout the build and beyond.

In this blog, we’ll explain what a user flow is, and how it will help your organization optimize its website to best align with users’ expectations.

Why Should I Create a User Flow for My Website?

User flows, as the name implies, are flowcharts designed to communicate users’ thoughts, decisions, and behaviors when interacting with software or a website. User flow diagrams are frequently used to optimize software because they translate user needs and human behavior into computer-like, input-informed decision trees. The same principles can be used to inform functionalities and user experience (UX) design in websites.

A carefully crafted user flow can significantly improve the overall user experience by reducing friction and providing a seamless journey from the user’s entry point to whatever conversion event you’re guiding them toward. By taking users’ goals into account while we design, we ensure that the information they need is readily available and accessible so they will interact with the site longer lengths of time, and with a greater likelihood of converting.

Some of the most common benefits of creating a user flow when designing a website include:

Improved Site Navigation

By creating a user flow rooted in research, you get a better sense of what information users are looking for when they first reach your website. This will help you determine where and how to display the information they need as you guide them through the conversion process. The main site navigation should reflect the touchpoints your users might look for as they explore your site’s contents.

A more User-Friendly Interface

UX (user-experience) design involves so much more than simply choosing colors and fonts. Designing a user experience incorporates the structure and organization of your site’s contents in order to effectively communicate your story and your offering. Identifying the optimal user flow for your website will allow you to meet your target audience’s goals, pain points, and more.

Understanding the sequential steps users take as they familiarize themselves with and evaluate your product or service helps you address their concerns and questions, further moving them toward conversion.

Bearing the user journey in mind throughout the design process makes the overall user experience feel smooth, natural, and enjoyable. User-experience design meets your customer along their buying journey and introduces them to the service or offering they need — yours.

More Conversions and Higher-Quality Leads

Understanding the user flow for your website helps designers create links between the website’s objectives and the user actions. Do you want visitors to the site to purchase a product or schedule a product demo? Do you want to capture email addresses to target with email marketing? Do you want users to create an account or download an app? Understanding what users will think and do helps design teams incentivize users to take specific actions on the page, or eliminate obstacles between the user and your desired outcome.

How to Create a User Flow for Your Website

Creating a user flow is simple, but first you have to understand who your target audience is. You can’t build a strong user flow without first understanding your user’s perspective. What’s motivating them to look into your offering? What are they struggling with that you can solve? Will they need to justify their decisions about your service to other stakeholders on their team?

User flows are powerful tools for optimizing your homepage, but don’t limit yourself to just one user flow. Create user flows for different goals — every journey has a different starting point and end, with different steps in between. If you’re unable to determine what users are thinking at each step of the customer journey, consider conducting usability testing on your site. By interviewing real people in real-time as they interact with your site, you’ll garner genuine feedback you can use while building a user flow.

Once you’ve spent time conducting user research and recording your findings, it’s time to walk a mile in their shoes. Consider their perspective while you navigate through your site and plot the steps they need to take toward your desired outcome.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to converting your research into a clean and clear user flow chart for your team:

Set your goals and starting point

Ultimately, a user flow is a map of actions between your user arriving and completing a process. To draw that map, we have to know where we are and where we’re going. Establish the starting point for your user flow. Is this user starting from the homepage or a specific landing page? Clearly state the map’s destination, or what process they are completing through this journey: creating an account, making a purchase, booking an appointment, or something else. The user flow will encompass all the steps between these two points.

Define types of steps

When we build user flows, we use distinct colors and shapes to represent the types of steps in the process. These are the steps to completion of your objective, and each step leads to another — or can lead to multiple, and that’s when decisions are made.

The goal of a user flow is to string these steps together smoothly and naturally, so users don’t have to endure long jumps and jarring transitions while interacting with your site. By making the path to each next step clear to UX designers, they can in turn make those paths clear to the end user.

You can determine what steps are most relevant to your customer journey, but we typically use the following:

Behaviors: Desiring information, looking for something, reading content

Decisions: Choosing a page to view, evaluating price points, leaving the site

Interactions: Clicking buttons, navigating the site, submitting a form, filtering a list, watching videos

Negative interactions: Not finding desired information, struggling to navigate site, opting not to fill out a form

Identify exit points

Receiving the time and attention of users is a privilege, and one of the goals of marketing is to reduce the number of reasons they might move on to competitors’ websites. There are many reasons a user might choose to exit the customer journey at any point: They might determine the product or terms are unsatisfactory, the price is too high, or they might not know how to get in touch or where to find answers to their questions. By identifying current and potential exit points for customers prior to conversion, we can eliminate those obstacles and hesitations to optimize the entire process.

Connect steps with content

The steps in a user flow form the building blocks of your user experience, and your site’s content is the mortar between them. Web developers and design teams can make the site’s targets clear, eye-catching, and aesthetically pleasing, while copywriters can explain to users where they should go next and why. Understanding the user’s motivations, intentions, and needs at each step can help you address them directly in every aspect of your site’s build.

We Create User-Focused Web Experiences

At 434 Marketing, we help our clients understand their customers better than ever before. We perform user research, conduct usability testing and customer interviews, build buyer personas, construct customer journey maps and user flows, and more … and we do all of this before we start building our clients’ websites.

We don’t just create a pretty online profile for your business — we understand how a well-researched, carefully designed website can support your sales team before they take a single call. Our digital experiences are optimized to reach your target audience when they’re already interested and fuel that interest until they’re convinced you have the best solutions to their problems.

If you’re interested in learning more about your buyers, we are, too. We’d love to hear what you already know, and see if we can help you learn more.