While it's commonly used in modeling information systems, it can also be used in modeling mobile apps. Compatible edition s: Enterprise , Professional , Standard , Modeler. The figure below shows a context Data Flow Diagram that is drawn for an Android supermarket app. It contains a process shape that represents the system to model, in this case, the " Supermarket App ". It also shows the participants who will interact with the system, called the external entities.
In this example, there is only one external entity, which is the Customer. In between the process and the external entity, there is a bi-directional connector, which indicates the existence of information exchange between customer and the app, and the information flow is bi-directional. Context DFD is the entrance of a data flow model. It contains one and only one process and does not show any data store, which makes the diagram simple.
The Supermarket App Data Flow Diagram example contains five processes, one external entity and three data stores. Although there is no design guideline that governs the positioning of shapes in a Data Flow Diagram, we tend to put the processes in the middle and data stores and external entities on the sides to make it easier to comprehend.
Based on the diagram, we know that a Customer can receive Hot promotion news from the Check Latest Promotions process and the news is provided by the Company database. Note that by common sense we know that Check Latest Promotions is likely to be a feature of the app but the Data Flow Diagram itself implies no such thing.
Data Flow Diagram with Examples - Supermarket App Example
Theoretically speaking, a process in Data Flow Diagram may correspond to a feature or a set of features. The Warehouse database will also provide the Items details required to complete the process. A Customer can receive Shopping list details from the View Shopping List process and such details is provided by the Shopping Cart database. A Customer can receive Items details by performing the Search Items process.
Mobile app process flow ( Data Flow Diagram)
Although we said that the search result is returned after searching, the Data Flow Diagram, again, implies no such thing. It is our common sense that leads us to interpret the diagram in the way that we understand it naturally. Keep in mind that Data Flow Diagram only tells you where information exchange takes place. It does not answer in what way and in what order the information is being used throughout a system. Finally, a Customer can receive Supermarkets' physical location details by performing Check Locations and the details is provided by the Company database.
In this Data Flow Diagram example, the word "details" is used many times when labeling data. We have "item details", "shopping list details" and "location details". What if we write them explicitly as "item ID", "item name, description and photo" and "country, city and address of supermarket"? Is this correct? Well, there is no definite answer to this question but try to ask yourself a question when making a decision. Why are you drawing a DFD? In most cases, Data Flow Diagram is drawn in the early phase of system development, where many details are yet to be confirmed.
Data Flow Diagram Tips and Cautions
The use of general terminologies like "details", "information", "credential" certainly leave room for discussion. However, using general terms can be kind of lacking details and make the design lost it usefulness. So it really depends on the purpose of your design.
In a Data Flow Diagram, we focus on the interactions between the system and external parties, rather than the internal communications among interfaces. Therefore, data flows between interfaces and the data stores used are considered to be out of scope and should not be shown in the diagram. Some designers may feel uncomfortable when coming across a connector connecting from a data store to a process, without showing the step of data request being specified on the diagram. Some designers will attempt to put a request attached to the connector between a process and a data store, labeling it "a request" or "request for something", which is surely unnecessary.
There are also perfectly good web-based solutions like Gliffy www. It is possible to create flow diagrams within Microsoft Office suite Word or Excel although these tools are limited and major edits are more difficult. A basic flow diagram details the first few stages of a connected mobile application. For very simple projects the flow diagram may cover most of the user interface of the application, but more commonly it will mainly detail the more complex behind-the-scenes processes.
The user-facing screens will only be touched upon. A good way to move on to the next stage is via a hub and spoke diagram.
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- Data Flow Diagram Examples and Templates | Lucidchart?
Hagan Rivers, a design consultant, calls these diagrams Application Maps. She uses them to highlight the main hubs of activity in an application. In her blog post http: An example of a hub and spoke style application map. If your mobile app is very complicated it might not be immediately clear where to start with the user interface design. A hub and spoke style application map is a good way of revealing how the pieces of your app fit together.
Wireframe is a term usually associated with web design, but it can apply to application design just as well. A wireframe is a simple visual representation of an app's design sometimes referred to as a skeleton or blueprint. A wireframe does not contain finished design elements but it does display where design elements will appear on the page. A wireframe will show the order, positioning and sizing of components such as buttons, entry fields, icons, without actually showing how they will be rendered. Wireframing is perfect for apps using the native UI of a device, as it does not concern itself with the individual characteristics of UI elements.
Like a process flow diagram, a wireframe can act as useful guidance for a developer setting out each page of an application. Unlike flow diagrams, which really benefit from dedicated creation tools, wireframes can be as simple as hand drawn sketches as shown in Figure 3. In fact, many of the dedicated mobile application wireframing tools available will actually create visuals that adopt a hand drawn style. There are numerous printable templates for smartphones and tablets, and several dedicated or online software tools are available to partly automate the task.
Mobile app process flow | Editable Data Flow Diagram Template on Creately
Examples of hand-drawn and digitally generated wireframes. They may be required for marketing purposes however, or simply to help the developer in the early stages of the design process. Mobile OS interface toolkits or stencils are freely available for many design platforms such as Adobe Photoshop or OmniGraffle and the iOS development kit — Xcode 4 —contains a storyboard tool which can be used to create a working mock-up of an app.
The extent to which you use the techniques described above will vary depending on the complexity of the mobile application you are building. What is vital, however, is that you do plan ahead before embarking on development. Whilst the Mobile Designer NativeUI library endeavors to be platform agnostic, it still requires the designer to make important decisions about the architecture of their application. Specific knowledge of each target platform is not required, but a broad understanding of how NativeUI is structured will enable you to quickly realize your goals.
Useful Links And Resources. Microsoft Visio: The powerful Windows app for creating all sorts of charts and diagrams. Widely used and fairly intuitive. This Mac alternative to Visio is arguably superior. The vast library of stencils mean prototyping is a breeze.
- The Supermarket App Example;
- Wait—Don't Go!.
- Data Flow Diagram Examples and Templates;
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- Process Flow Diagram For Mobile Application - Data Wiring Diagram Today.
A comprehensive online charting tool with great support. Pencil Project: Highly Recommended. An online wireframing and protoyping tool with a large library of stencils. UI Stencils: A selection of printed templates and physical stencils for sketching ideas on paper. Very clever. UX Stickynotes: Handy, printed templates for sketching ideas and layouts. A collection of free printable sketch templates and sketch books for Wireframing.