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User flow vs. customer journey — what's the difference? | Grab a Coffee ☕️ #29

Grab a Coffee ☕️
While you’re reading this, I am on a journey, better to say on a road trip through Norway. This journey has different phases that I will go through. I’ve made preparations, I’ve taken off and gotten involved in traveling, I’ve left my daily routines behind and new situations keep popping up that I have to adapt to.
In a few weeks, when I’m back home, the trip will have left a certain impression on me and I’ll be happy to share my memories.
Using digital products can be compared to a journey as well, and the choices we make when using them influence where we go on our (digital) journey.
So let’s get going!

🤷‍♀️ What are we talking about?
User flows
User flows are the actions that a user performs while using a digital product. For a user flow, the following categories can be defined as events:
  • Start and end of the user flow
  • Decisions - Yes/No
  • Inputs
  • System actions
Customer journey
The customer journey describes the entire life cycle of a product and the points of interaction that a user encounters. It therefore begins before the actual use and ends only after the last interaction with the product.
Emotions, feelings and pain points of the user are included.
👯 Similarities and differences
Both customer journey and user flows refer to users. Both methods also describe user interactions with a digital product, but at different levels.
User flow describes the interactions of an individual user within a product, for example, to achieve a specific goal, whereas the customer journey describes the overall experience of user groups in relation to the entire lifecycle.
Another difference is that user flows tend to be based on processes and decisions and focus on individual interactions. Customer journeys, on the other hand, are more focused on the emotions and feelings of user groups and divide the use of a product into different lifecycle phases.
User journey vs. user flow: differences and similarities
💡 When to use which method?
A user flow shows in detail how a user moves within a product and which decisions he makes. User flows help to clarify the path of the user or to identify pain points in the workflow. Actually helpful at any point in the design process.
Customer journeys are a great tool to visualize findings from the research process and to highlight important stages for users. Therefore it is advisable to set up the customer journey at the beginning of a project and use it for further development.
In the flow of the journey
I’ll stop writing here because my journey continues. Was this newsletter helpful for you and do you want to know more about user flows and customer journeys? Then I would be happy if you could give me some feedback by following this link (takes about 30 seconds).
Very very short feedback appreciated!
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See you next week with new topics and an amazingly good cup of coffee. ☕️
Marina 👋
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Marina @marina_kdot

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