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I'm a web administrator by trade and am curious about UX/UI design.

After doing some research I've decided to resurrect an old idea and build a website. This website will serve as a tool that members of my community have been asking for for a long time, and have thus far relied on a recipe of tools that still don't achieve the goals they wanted nor represent a positive user experience.

From further digging I found that there are 4 main UX/UI stages of development:

  1. Sketch
  2. Wireframe
  3. Mockup
  4. Prototype

Question: Where do user-flow diagrams fit in to the four stages mentioned above?

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All of the stages should be "user flow diagrams".

You should have the user flow in mind since even before the time you start sketching until you're finished for good on the project. Every step should be centered around the user's behavior (flow).


As for your second question, it's up to what you want to present yourself as and how good each of your stages actually is. If you want to be seen as someone who does all the steps, show each as you made them and put the reasoning for why you made the decisions you did. If, on the other hand, you're applying for a more specific job (I can't think of a job that only does part of these not the others but perhaps in a very large company this is the case), show that part in addition to the reasoning still but also show several other projects where you did the same type of work. Also, for example, if you're not great at prototyping you may want to show more of the other three stages and less of the prototyping one.

Ultimately you want to show the skills you want to do as a job because what the company sees determines how they will use you (if at all).

  • Thanks for your response Zach; with regards to my first question, I meant user-flow diagrams with regards to their journey. As in charts that don't show anything but user decisions (think Gliffy). – brooklynsweb Jul 7 '15 at 22:30
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    @brooklynsweb I realize this. It should be done all through the process. Before even starting and continually updated as the process goes on – Zach Saucier Jul 8 '15 at 1:09
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    Piggybacking! UX designer here. I almost never work up a formal user flow document to hand off. I will however use an informal user flow throughout my process. At the beginning of a project when I'm sketching/whiteboarding, a user flow is handy to help wrap my head around the problem I'm trying to solve (how many screens do we need? what kind of transitions? what happens if a user is here and they want info that's way over there?). It also helps me quickly gauge the scope of work I'm getting myself into. And I always lay out my wireframes in user flow order. But every designer is different. – Vicki Feb 18 '16 at 23:34
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There aren't '4 stages' to UX work. Those are just 4 particular ones someone came up with. They are common 4 sets of deliverables, but not necessarily stages in and of themselves.

As for user-flow diagrams, they should come as soon in the process as possible and will help inform decisions going forward (and will likely change as needed).

FYI, you may want to ask this on UX.se

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User-flow diagram (Task model) gives insight into how users will interact with your product and any information these interactions contain.

User journeys are similar to task models; they are used when you already have an existing product to determine what your users actually do with that product. This lets you map the current task model and determine an "ideal user journey". You don't have to develop a journey for every function, this might be too time consuming/expensive, but you should be looking at developing a journey map for the most often used functions (e.g. Sales and returns).

However, the 4 stages you listed are just part of several processes in UI/UX Design. You left out the most important part, Research. You need to understand your users before starting any design.

You left out these other processes:

  • Stakeholders interviews
  • Competitive analysis
  • Users interviews etc

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