Simple Method to Analyse Task Flow

There are moments for us, designers, when we have to prove to ourselves and the stakeholders that the task flow we just created is worth being implemented. Mostly, we can’t find convincing arguments to make them believe that the upgraded flow will lead us to success (RIP Great ideas).

What is one of the best ways to show the efficiency of a product or functionality? Numbers! To be more specific — ideas validated with digits. I found a simple method for such scenarios and decided to share it with you.

Take a look at the example of the onboarding flow:

Onboarding flow

As soon as we have a flow, all the actions that a user will have to take should be written down (Note that these actions can vary depending on the type of flow; there might be gestures, fingerprints, and screens that disappear within a few seconds). In this example, there are four actions provided:

  1. Tap
  2. Type
  3. Open external link
  4. Scroll

Next, we need to evaluate them according to their importance(mental workload) and time & effort spent. For example, Scroll seems to be the easiest one as a user doesn’t have to make a crucial decision — one will merely look through the content fast while scrolling it. Hence — 1 point. It is a very subjective part of the process, so feel free while evaluating. In my case Tap equals 3, Type — 5, and External link (Users have to leave the app, which can be dangerous) — 10.

Assess the screens

Place signs of each action near the corresponding screens:

12 Taps / 4 Types / 1 External link / 1 Scroll

Simplify the flow

Next, it is time to simplify the flow and count the actions again. I decided to turn the first four screens into one, placed all types of inputs together, eliminated the number of password input fields, and here it is — the flow is simplified:

6 Taps / 3 Types / 1 External link / 1 Scroll

Calculate

As soon as we evaluate initial and updated flows, it is time to open excel and create two pages: one for the initial version and the other for the updated version. Enter simple formulas in the third column (e.x. =B1*3 — in case of taps — the number of taps multiplied by its value).

Tap counts =B1*3

As soon as there are formulas entered in the C column, fill in the B column with digits. The total score will appear in the 5th row & C column (enter =SUM(C1:C4 in it to view the result).

Working in Excel is optional, you can calculate everything using just pen and paper

And here we are! The updated flow is 37% ((67–42)/67x100=37) simpler than the initial one.

When is the method useful?

The method is useful while redesigning a website or an app, and while simplifying the most frequently used flows. And, most importantly, as I mentioned above, all the data gathered can enforce your arguments during the negotiations with stakeholders.

I hope that you found the article useful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Hello, I am a UX / UI Designer and Painter from the Republic of Georgia.

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