We’ve all felt flow—the mental state in which we’re fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment of the activity we’re performing.
In Rdef terms—you’re in the zone.
We experience flow in sports, shopping, games, work, conversations, creation of art, meditation, sex, and of course Amazon.com shopping carts! To be in the zone isn’t just based on what you’re doing, it’s all about your emotional and mental state within that act.
I’ve been reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow—it’s kinda deep (at least for me, as I’m more into The Cat in the Hat these days.) It turns things upside down and opens up the mind to reconsider what motivates you and how you stay in the zone.
Csikszentmihalyi suggests that enhancing the time spent in flow leads to a happier, more successful life. Flow experiences have a positive affect on performance and help bring balance to our being.
Striking a pose
I love yoga—when I tap into my yoga zone it makes me happier and more balanced. Someday, I want to lead others in the ritual flow (not just at lunch on Mondays here at Redonk), but for now I’m happy to create meaningful flows online that make users happy and successful.
So how do we architect happy paths that create flow for users (and cash flow for clients?) Just like yogis do. Set up an open environment of trust and careful challenge, then guide and encourage.
Make user goals clear
- Help direct users where to go.
- Clearly instruct users on what to do.
- Make the steps intuitive on how to do it.
Give users feedback immediately
- Keep the flow mechanism on by telling users how well they are doing or how to recover quickly.
Create balance between opportunity and capacity
- Understand your users to make sure the path you design instills confidence in their ability to successfully complete.
- Give users freedom from distractions to complete task at hand.
It’s not easy, but when you do UX right, users leave distractions behind and follow the path to inner peace. Until next time, the flow within me honors the flow with you… Tweet us @redonkmarketing #flow
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