User Flow vs Task Flow (Full Walkthrough + Use Cases)

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Both task flow and user flow refer to UX diagrams. And this fact makes them ideal for causing confusion.

To shed light on user flow vs task flow, let's delve into these confusing terms and clarify things once and for all.

What is the Main Difference Between User Flow and Task Flow?

Task flow focuses on linear path—from an already established user decision—to the desired destination. In simpler terms, this UX diagram tends to be simple, showing specific steps that will lead to only one destination (not more than that).

User flow, which is presented as a dynamic diagram, identifies and removes unnecessary steps users may take when navigating a website or app. It aims to make users’ lives easier, exploring all possible steps users might take.

Task flow and user flow diagrams and their differences.

So task flows can be a part of a user flow, whereas user flows cannot.

Task flow is predictable, while user flow is unpredictable.

The practical use? These UX flows effectively convey the product's flow to stakeholders, offering a clear overview of how the interface functions. And solve real users' pain points, whether they use website, app, product, service, etc.

It’s all about optimizing user paths and eliminating labyrinthine processes from the user's standpoint.

Let me explain all this using real-world and UX design examples.

What is an Example of Task Flow and User Flow?

Task flow is like a guiding tour. It outlines the steps and actions needed to complete to reach the final tour’s location. A task flow example is when a tour guide manages a tour’s layout.

User flow is more like finding a tour. So, a tour guide is unsure about the tour’s itinerary from the start.

Let’s first start with an example of task flow:

Task Flow Example in Everyday Scenario: Guiding a Tour

Here is a task flow for guiding a tour:

Task Flow Example in Everyday Scenario: Guiding a Tour

So, in this example, a tour guide had a strong understanding of tour’s layout and final location right from the beginning.

The path was linear and predictable. And decision points were straightforward throughout the whole journey.

Now let’s see the example of user flow.

User Flow Example in Everyday Scenario: Finding a Tour

Here is a user flow for finding a tour:

User Flow Example in Everyday Scenario: Finding a Tour.

In this user flow example, the decision points weren't as clear-cut, were they? That’s why the user flow diagram focuses on a higher number of paths users might take before coming to a desired destination.

The paths was therefore, dynamic and unpredictable.

Now, let's delve into examples of UX flows in design.

Task Flow Diagram Example in UX Design

Here is a simple task flow chart in UX design:

Task flow chart example in UX design.

And here's a straightforward task flow example: Begin an activity on the Strava app.

Compared to user flows, task flows are suitable when the task is performed similarly by all users and involves a shared starting point.

For example, in Strava fitness app, a task such as "Record Activity"  is likely to be performed in the same way by all users. It only depends on what type of activity they want, but the user pathway is pretty linear.

So, to finish this action, users must head to the Strava app and:

  1. Tap the “Record button.
Screenshot showing the “Record” button's function.
  1. Select the Activity icon.
Screenshot showing the “Activity” button's function.
  1. After the second step is complete, tap the “START button.
Screenshot showing the “Start” button's function.

Users are ready now.

Screenshot displaying the interface during activity.

And here is the task flow chart for this particular instance:

Simple task flow chart: Begin an activity on the Strava app.

User Flow Diagram Example in UX Design

Here is a simple user flow chart in UX design:

One of the simplest user flow examples in UX design.

And here is a very simple task for a user: Download the Uber app.

Head to the Google Play store and:

  1. Tap the Google Play icon
  2. Select the Uber icon
  3. Tap INSTALL
  4. After app installation is complete, tap OPEN.
  5. In the Uber app, tap SIGN IN if you have an account or tap REGISTER to create one.

And here is the very simple user flow chart for this case:

Simple user flow examples in UX design: Download the Uber app.

If, after going through these examples, you still hesitate what each of these UX flows stand for, here is a short reminder:

What is a user flow?

User flow (i.e., user journey mapping) is a clear diagram that showcases different steps users might take while using a website, app, product or service.

So, each step of the user’s journey is carefully examined.

What is a task flow?

Task flow (i.e., linear user pathway) is a simple diagram that showcases the user's journey from the start to a specific destination without any turnarounds.

Now, let’s see what the best practices are regarding a UX flow diagram.

4 Best Practices for Rocking UX Flows

Mastering user flows in UX design requires several steps.

For the best UX results, we recommend working through this checklist:

1. Dive into Users Research

A successful UX analysis leads to actionable tweaks for improving the overall user experience. But before that, designers and developers must conduct user research.

Think about who your users are, develop deep understanding of customer needs and create a customer persona. Your initial research can yield thousands of new user experience ideas.

In this step, design cycle can help.

To understand a customer persona (i.e., a buyer persona)—and how this model embodies the characteristics of a significant portion of your audience to help you guide product development—you need to do the quantitative research.

These methods are useful when developing these personas:

  • customer interviews
  • focus group discussions
  • surveys
  • customer feedback

Also, research is usually prompted by negative feedback, such as bad app store reviews or poor results from usability testing.

So, a UX analysis and better-constructed user flow will help identify solutions for creating a better user journey.

2. Brainstorm Around Particular User's Objective

Understanding the user's approach to accomplishing the goal or task is crucial to crafting an efficient design flow. By pinpointing problem areas, UX/UI designers can provide users with the most direct path.

Take CarGo app for instance.

This company helps you travel seamlessly.

But here is when the CarGo team should empathize with both users and drivers.

They must help riders find a better way to go from point A to point B.


The CarGo app, for instance, failed to determine the exact user location because of the different  terrain heights.

The visual representation illustrates the primary pain points experienced by users.

So, how UX designers and developers can solve this issue?

They should improve the app's GPS algorithm to consider terrain elevation data when determining the user's location.

That way, the app can provide more accurate location readings in areas with different types of terrain.

A user feedback mechanism within the app to gather insights from users when location accuracy issues occur is also important.

This feedback can help identify specific areas or scenarios where the app struggles to determine accurate locations based on terrain.

Plus, designers should develop an offline mode feature that allows users to pre-download terrain data for specific regions.

This cached data can be used to improve location accuracy when users are in areas with limited or no network connectivity. And help them avoid frustration and long waiting times.

3. Reduce the Number of Steps

UX/UI designers should eliminate unnecessary steps to build trust, limit confusion and keep the user interface clean.

I remember when I felt frustrated when I had to fill in extensive information before finally being able to start using a yoga-facing app.

The lengthy process of providing details about myself and my daily routine delayed my access to the desired destination within the app.

So I left the app.

Therefore, designers should reduce the data entry required from users (e.g., use smart defaults, auto-fill options, and pre-populated fields) to minimize users input and help them navigate UI faster.

4. Test and Refine

Usability testing proves that the features that have been improved are working as they should.

Before you launch your site or app, consider A/B testing. Also, record live feedback from users as they interact with your site or product.

Then, make adjustments based on the results and test again.

Your design must help people, so ensure it evolves and it doesn't stagnate for too long.


Task flow vs user flow confusion is now a thing of the past.

By committing to UX flow diagrams that visually represent users' pathways—those you want to serve, help, or make their lives easier—you ensure that they feel validated.

Be sure to reflect on the user flow diagram examples provided here before creating a user journey map!

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Rea is a versatile SEO writer with over 3 years of experience. At Nube, she devotes a high degree of attention to content focused on Webflow and design to establish topical authority in this field.