A series of steps (“flow”) that users complete for a specific task. It is a single flow completed similarly by all users for a specific action. Ex. Sign Up. Task flows have a singular flow, they don’t branch out.
One of the different diagrams which map out the structure, hierarchy, organization, and relationships across content and features of our designs. So that people who use the design (e.g. a product, service, experience) can fluidly navigate through the design to accomplish their desired goals.
Task flows are similar to user flows, except they’re generally linear without multiple branches or paths. E.g., all users would follow the same steps to complete that specific action, such as creating an account or going through a checkout process.
Task flows tend to be linear, showing the high-level steps that a person would take to get to a specific goal or end point. Task flows tend not to branch out with options or decision points, tend to be linear and sequential, and are generally meant to be simple, rather than complex.
To build a desirable task flow you need to understand all the different aspects around the pain-point, challenge you want to solve. The practice of researching and setting up user personas involves understanding user needs, motivations, goals, and constraints and allows us to empathize with the way users solve problems. In their analysis, design teams sometimes focus on the who and how, but forget the why. To understand the why, explore questions like:
- Who is the user (demographics, roles, skills/knowledge level)?
- What motivates the user to perform each task?
- What are the user’s end goals?
- What user-needs are met by completing a task?
- What obstacles might a user face while completing a task?
- Are there any usage constraints to consider?