User flow is a very important aspect of website designing.This article is aimed at explaining the dynamics of user flow. It also explains to the web designers how they can work and create stunning website designs for their clients while keeping the user flow in mind.
Websites are an integral part of any business today. Everyone has a natural expectation of having a website. However, how the website should be completely depends on how a user will be using it.This phenomenon of studying the user behavior is often termed as User Flow. Let us understand it a little better.
Essentially, user flow is the layout of the path that any user will take while he visits a website. It is more like a mapping of where the eyeballs go when on a website. This does not mean that the sole focus is based on the design only. The user flow is largely affected by the functions as well.
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The reason somebody visits your website is because he is looking for something, be it information or product. Search Engine Optimization ensures that these visitors visit your site.However all these efforts are wasted if the visitor comes to the website and leaves it because they couldn’t find what he was looking for? This is where user flow helps designers to create sites that tap the attention of the users immediately.
Inception of User Flow
So where and when does User flow begin? Well user flow can start as early as opening the website. Even before your website is fully loaded, visitors begin skimming on the page, looking for data that interests them. This is why while creating any website it is very important to ensure that even before the website loads, the “LOADING” page too is attractive enough and has enough information.
Users land on your page because of various reasons. It could be a genuine search, or a back link from another page or an advertisement. Now once the person has come to the page, his analysis of the website will begin immediately. If you don’t cash this opportunity, you may lose a visitor forever.
Designing for clients
Designing a website for a client is a tough job, especially with user flow in mind, because the ones who pay the money decide what they want. You must therefore, explain to your clients the significance of user flow, because unless you do it, they would never know. Follow the following steps while creating stunning websites for clients with user flow in mind:
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The first thing to do here is to make the client aware of the user flow. Explain to him what user flow is. Discuss at length what user flow can do to make the site better. Also discuss the disadvantages your site will have to bear if you do not adhere to the user flow pattern.
Create a diagram overlaying the structure of user flow. Ensure that your diagram is accurate and pertaining to the relevant target group. Highlight the key areas and have a lengthy discussion with the client regarding why the diagram represents the flow of their users.
Research extensively on the kind of layout used in competitor websites. Identify the use of user flow in their website and highlight is. Involve your client in this research process and show them why and how you can use it for your benefit.
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Samuel is a professional website designer. Currently working with OutsourceWebSite.Net – An Outsource Web Application Development Company. He enjoys blogging about designing in free time.