How UX Flows Can Make or Break Your Business

Imagine building a house from start to finish. It would be unwise to begin purchasing materials without a plan first, right? To prepare for a build, you might first consider the size of the house. Do you prefer brick, wood, stone, or a combination of the three? What should the square footage be? How much will materials and labor cost? What can you afford?

The most logical first step is to render blueprints of a house with the help of a qualified architect. These plans are essential to sharing the vision of the final product before construction begins, ensuring that construction will follow a predetermined plan, remain within your budget, and suit your unique needs.

This process of designing and building a house is very similar to the design and development process of a software application.

What are UX Flows?

User Experience (UX), or more specifically UX flows, serve as the structural composition of any web or mobile application. They are the software “blueprint” which illustrates the natural navigational flow of each different user type through a software application. While it is possible to design and develop a software application without UX flows, or to construct a house without blueprints, skipping this fundamental step will result in trial and error in the later phases of development. Extra time spent in the development stage significantly increases the overall cost and timeline of the project.

Exploring UX Flows

Since UX flows serve as the basis for any and all software applications, creating thorough UX flows is undoubtedly one of the first steps in successfully launching an app. This stage of preparation clearly outlines the scope of the project in its entirety, allowing the software team and client to fully understand the breadth and complexity of the application they are about to build.

The Lithios team begins exploring UX flows during the Discovery phase — the first of three overarching phases of software development: Discovery, Design and Development.

The Discovery phase is a collaborative, foundational workshop series that prepares both Lithios and our clients for a successful transition into the next phases of software Design and Development. These workshops involve gathering the key information needed to create or update any software application, similar to how an architect might gather requirements to render the blueprints for a house.

For our team to create thorough UX flows, our Discovery workshops cover everything from a client’s unique business requirements, feature prioritization and implementation, to user types and technology stack. This early phase is generally required even if UX flows, UI (User Interface) designs, or Development work has already been done.

UX Flows and Funding

It is important to recognize the impact of professional assistance in outlining UX flows. When UX flows are detailed and complete, they give significant insight into the cost of the next stages of the project. Cost projections may help a business owner decide how to fund the remainder of the build, whether that means working with the agency to limit the scope of the project to include the bare essentials, seeking outside investment funding, or funding the project another way.

Although professional UX work does involve an upfront investment, planning out a project in the early stages can free business owners to allocate their money, time and resources to scaling their business later on, rather than fixing issues that might arise due to lack of preparation.

How UX Flows Can Save Money For Your Business

A detailed plan of action limits time spent guessing in the more expensive phases of design and development. Rather than spending time adding “additions” that the application’s foundation may be unable to support, UX flows provide practical guidelines for the Design and Development teams to follow from the start.

Seeing every feature outlined within UX flows can also help a new business owner delineate the “essential” versus “nice to have” features when brainstorming new software applications. The flows can be organized to highlight the most essential features of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), while saving other features for future versions of the application. Highlighting the essential UX flows to build an MVP can save substantial investment when it comes to the Design and Development phases, simply because less work is involved to create an MVP version of an application.

Lastly, UX flows can help ensure the foundation will support feature add-ons once the application is ready to scale. When new users have adopted the MVP or early version of a product, the incoming revenue can be invested back into the project to build out the exact features customers are asking for in future versions. This future-feature strategy can prevent risking customer dissatisfaction with unnecessary or undesired features and spending too much capital early on.

When to Bring In an Expert

If you have an idea for a software application, but have yet to determine how each user would navigate through the application, that’s okay! As long as you have an idea of the relevant features needed within your app, you can (and should) hire professionals to create the UX flows. If you aren’t sure which features could help solve the problem your audience is facing, this may indicate a need for further customer discovery, or better understanding your users’ needs and pain points.

An Hour of Planning Can Save Ten Hours of Spending

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we appreciate the appeal of building out a business idea as soon as possible and not wanting perfection to be the enemy of progress. However, a little bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring the overall success of your business. By intentionally planning a project through the creation of UX flows, you will know exactly what will be designed and built, have a clearer understanding of the estimated project cost, and save time, energy and money by building your software product right, the first time.

Have questions about UX flows, our process or what steps you should take to get your application off the ground? Contact us!

Kassidy Jezierski Blog Image

Kassidy Jezierski leads business development at Lithios. She works to clearly communicate the capabilities and optimal engagement opportunities between Lithios and its clients. In her free time, she enjoys finger-painting pictures of lambs and docile sheep.

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