Using State Charts to design and validate your user flows

Colin Wren
9 min readNov 11, 2023

After my last blog around my unsuccessful quest to find the “perfect Todo List app” that would allow me to better manage my 7 days, 6 weeks, 6 months approach to planning I decided to start looking into how I could build my own Todo List app that meets my needs.

In the past I’ve built two digital products, one was a mobile app to help jobseekers create CVs quickly called JiffyCV and the other was an interactive user flow mapping tool called reciprocal.dev. I learned a lot from building these products.

From JiffyCV I learned the importance of shipping fast in order to validate the idea with real users instead of trying to do everything “by the book” like I would do in my day job. I spent 7 months working myself towards burn-out and when the app shipped the download numbers were so low that I closed it down instead of spending my time supporting something I didn’t have the energy to maintain.

From reciprocal.dev I learned the importance of sales and how that is a skill I really need to develop. I shipped the MVP of the app within a month and this really helped to validate the idea, having gone through multiple iterations of the app’s concepts based on real user feedback. I also used blogging to talk about the journey I took when I created this, which got lots of good feedback. However due to a lack of time to keep pushing the sales the idea started to die on the vine and I had to make a call to close it down.

I’m now back for round three of trying to build a digital product. A product I’m calling “Atomic Todo” which will be an iOS app that serves my needs around my 7 days, 6 weeks, 6 months planning approach while pulling in the concepts I liked from the Todo List apps I looked at previously.

I’m keen to learn from my past mistakes with JiffyCV and reciprocal.dev and also apply some of the concepts that we were introducing with reciprocal.dev to the development of this new product. The first of these concepts is interactive user flow mapping.

Prototyping is great but costly

In the past I had spent weeks building up prototypes of the app I wanted to build in Figma in order to explore the user flows through the app and learn more about the idea that I was trying to bring to life.

Prototyping the app allowed me to start seeing how the user would interact with the app’s UI, learn more about the problem…

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Colin Wren

Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.