The Workflow provides a shared context for usage perspectives and interaction; not only for the customer, but also system administrators, and the business).

It leads to a discussion of needs, tasks, goals – which lead to taxonomy.  And a glossary of terms – because everybody doesn’t use the same words in the same way. The workflow often has implications for use cases.

Workflow Path

A Workflow Path might also be called a “scenario”.  It is gleaned from what we know about the functionality of the software (what it offers) and customer usage (how we use it).

  • The title of the path describes the Task (a short sentence).
  • Numbered statements describe the Steps in a consistent fashion
  • The steps should include:
    • Where you start (Navigation)
    • The data you deal with
    • How you finish

Map How it Works

The interaction process should be visually obvious through the design of the interface:


You should have some sense of the total task.


You should know how many steps are involved.


You should know where you are in the process.


You should know what is required.


You should know when you have completed a step.


You should end up at an appropriate spot.


You should be able to undo your actions.


Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like.   Design is how it works.

— Steve Jobs, CEO Apple Computer, quoted in “The Guts of a New Machine”


The Workflow identifies HOW.

Choreograph Efficiency

 In a related vein: Utilitarian Design




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