3 — Walk in the shoes of your users

Your app is about helping the user reach their goals which, in effect, will give them the desired positive outcome. But to achieve these lofty heights, and for your app to actually be serviceable to the people you’re building for, we need to break things down further into more discrete objectives. I guarantee, your app will be full of them.

Let’s say your app’s main goal is to “help remember and manage tasks". The positive outcome of this is “feel more in control of my day”. Your app exists to service this need, but it’s hard to design an app around just that. Ask yourself what are the smaller objectives that must take place within your app. Think of the actions that a user must take to complete those objectives. They all work as part of a system to help user’s towards their desired outcome.

One objective of this app may be to “view uncompleted tasks” or “check a task done”. Some objectives may not feel directly related, such as, “reset the password”. But I’d argue that they are. If your users can’t reset their passwords, they can’t access your app, and so can’t manage their tasks and so the outcome ultimately fails.

How the goals and objectives affect the positive outcome

It’s worth spending time thinking about these objectives. They will all be made up of actions a user must perform to take them from the beginning, middle and end of those objectives. It’s no longer just screens for tasks and screens for an account, it’s all those little missions your users go on which takes them closer to their desired outcome. No need to get complicated about it, the actions are simply the steps someone would have to take to get the objective done.

Spending time thinking about the objectives and the actions taken let’s you ensure they are as efficient and effective in getting the job done. By thinking more intentionally about those steps your users take can quickly pinpoint areas of improvement or potential frictions.

The actions that efficient and effective get the objective done


Think of objectives like missions your user goes through to achieve something and actions as the necessary steps it takes to complete them. They’re all there to ultimately help the user with their overarching, desired goal and outcome. It’s helpful to see what it’s like walking in the shoes of your users as they journey through your app.

Further learning topics: User Flows, User Journeys

James Morris

Hey, I'm James 👋 I want to know what you think and would love some feedback. Just reach out over email. Say hey!