Show order and connection between users in a system for a given task.
Use this play when
A swimlane flowchart can come in handy at multiple stages of the product design process, but it’s best to document it as early as possible so the team can refer to and update it as they move forward together.
Swimlanes flowcharts are instrumental for an efficient Design phase, so we strongly recommend that teams start documenting the flow in the Define phase.
Materials & tools
Whiteboard & markers
Pencil & paper or digital equivalent like MURAL or Lucidchart
Decide what you want from the swimlane flowchart -- how will it be used in your project?
Pick a task that you want to chart.
Decide on a level of detail.
a. Sometimes it’s useful to do a shorter diagram of a highly detailed example. b. Other times you may want to zoom out a bit to show multiple examples simultaneously to illustrate where decisions are made, by whom, and their impact.
Pick a fidelity. You can do swimlanes at low fidelity with a writing tool/surface, or with any digital tool that you're comfortable making flowchart-type charts in, such as MURAL or Lucidchart.
Create swimlanes (rows) for each of the users/actors.
Document the first step in the process -- who takes the first action and what do they do?
a. Consider how the action affects all of the other users/actors, and whether they need to take any actions in response, or what might change for them as a result. b. Document the next step in the sequence, etc.
Decide when to end -- how will you know that the overall task objective has been met?