Creating and working with task flows

User experience design methods and concepts

Parcel tracking flow


  • Name:Task flow
  • Purpose:Map out task completion flow
  • Used:Frequently
  • Involved roles:UXD, dev team, UID

Definition of task flows

Task flows are sequences of views or screens user have to follow to achieve their desired goals. In eCommerce a typical task flow consists of finding an article, adding it to the shopping cart and going through a checkout and payment process.

In this example the whole task flow with the goal buying an article online consists of a couple of other smaller task flows like finding an article with the shops search and navigation system, filtering articles, sorting article list, comparing articles etc.

Where do the tasks come from?

Tasks are derived from requirements and user research. Task flows follow also technological requirements and need to be discussed with the development team.

B2B services and products often demand flows for different user rights and roles. When testing make sure to recruit the right participants and test with scenarios.

The right level of detail

Low resolution task flow

The typical design approach is top to bottom. Starting out with customer or user journeys, low level of detail and working up to more detailed views or screens to the final design.

High level flows are a good approach to align with stakeholders on requirements and future developments.

At a certain point they need to be tested in a usability testing in form of interactive prototypes. The more detail they contain the longer it takes to create and integrate changes. But for the majority of users you will need at least draft UI-mockups to get reasonable feedback.