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User flowchart

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A user flowchart helps the designer visualize the experience a user will take to complete a task or meet a goal on a site or app. Understanding how a user will navigate a site will help you identify their needs. Flowcharts are made up of a set of basic symbols that show the decision process to the users final destination.

To begin designing a flowchart, you must first identify who the user is. This can be done though user research or designing personas. This will help define the target audience and what the needs are. Next you will need to identify the entry point by understanding how the user will access the site or app. The entry point is where the user is when they first arrive on the site/app.

There are several people that are involved in UX that will bring a product to a successful completion. These can include UI designers, information architects, programmers and developers. They all have a large part in a successful UX experience.  But getting everyone on the same page can be a battle, as each one will need different types of information in order to reach different goals within the product development. For example, a UI designers main concern is user and how they can create something that fits the user. They will focus on the user’s needs, wants and preferences. While a developer will have a different view of the product in order to understand the inner workings of the system.

Using your UX flowchart as a communication tool can be successful in helping to illustrate the product in a way everyone on the team can understand. To keep everyone on the team involved in the user flowchart, you want to stay away from the visual design and focus on how the system will react with the user’s experience within the site.

 

 

Information Architecture

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Information architecture (IA) is found in websites, apps and software we download. It is the structural design of information in a shared environment as well as the organization and labeling of a website. The IA supports usability and a connection of design principles for the digital space. It takes information that is being used and applies it to activities which require complex detail.

Information architecture creates a structure for a website, app, or other project, that allows you to understand the user’s actions and where the information we want to be used lives. Information architecture involves the creation of site maps, categories, navigations, and metadata. For example when a designer puts together a top navigation to help users understand where they are on a site, they are exercising IA architecture. IA helps people to understand what they are looking at and where to find it in the real world as well as online. Practicing information architecture helps others understand the importance of site structure and content.

For some information architects, wireframes are the best way to start the process to make connections and identify how the site will work from a user’s perspective. After researching, an IA will be designed around certain screens in order to show how a user will interact with the information before them. Designers tend to think visually and will often use this visual technique to show the structure of information. Wireframes are also a valuable deliverable to share with clients, developers and visual designers as they build mockups, prototypes, and final products.