Go with the Flow

Love, love, love Jonathan Mendez’s blog post about unlocking the true value of digital with user flows, and here’s why…

I think that Johnathan’s assertion that user behavior is goal-driven and focused is key to the way we view digital experiences. His hypothesis is clearly supported by the facts: users are more likely than ever to reach out through social networks for information, search is becoming increasingly long-tail, and site entry points are more diverse than ever. The longer we continue to see the website home page as the primary entry point, the longer we cripple the entire user experience.

My question is, how do we track and manage the entire user flow across all channels and media? And by media, I mean everything including the in-store experience which is as much a part of the user experience as anything else.

The answer, I think, lies in building user flows on steroids. Starting with research-based personas, developing a deeper understanding of their goals (knowing that the same persona can have a different set of goals on Monday from those she has on Friday) and then applying known, typical and desired user behavior to the model, we can come up with a set of user flows to which we can map the appropriate content and functionality.

And of course, testing, measuring and analyzing after the fact will help us to keep content focused and continue to satisfy the users’ goals. Once users realize that there is a pay-off for sharing information, they actually become facilitators in the customization model, helping us to fine-tune personas because providing that information ultimately helps them reach their goals quicker.

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