A shorthand for designing UI flows – Signal v. Noise

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Flows are just as important to good interfaces as individual screens are. Customers don’t land on screens from out of nowhere. Specific sequences of actions lead customers through your app as they try to accomplish their tasks.

Flows are made out of individual interactions. A screen offers some possibilities and the user chooses one. Then something happens, and the screen changes. It’s an ongoing conversation. Each moment in a flow is like a coin with two sides. The screen is showing something on one side, and the user is reacting on the other side. My flow diagrams illustrate this two-sided nature with a bar. Above the bar is what the user sees. Below the bar is what they do. An arrow connects the user’s action to a new screen with yet another action.

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