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User flow is a term for the description of a set of tasks that a user must do to complete some process. In IT and on the Web, professionals might analyze user flows to try to make websites or technologies more user-friendly, and to understand the goals of the user as well as the goals of the company or other party that the Web project serves.
In general, the user flow can be boiled down to an essential number of steps. Suppose someone is looking at a user flow for the purchase of some product on the Web; here, the user flow would start with entering the URL or clicking into the landing page. It would consist of the user looking at and clicking on menus, to get to a product page, and then selecting a product in a shopping cart or otherwise proceeding to the purchase point.
Analyzing user flows is a great way to observe how a piece of Web property or software works. Analysts can see exactly how someone would approach some process, and how that could be made easier. For example, analysis of user flows often results in more clarity for menu bars or controls, better positioning of core task access, or other kinds of design implementations that make it easier for people to do what they intend to do online.