Guide Users Toward Goals: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By January 14, 2015 March 23rd, 2015 Ideas For Your Business

This is part 2 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

2) Guide Users Toward Goals

Build an app that only has navigation paths that help a user achieve a specific goal. To do this step, you really need to understand exactly who your users are, and what they’re trying to do.

What To Avoid

In the enterprise, we’re all too often building a product for users we only see once a quarter. The ins and outs of exactly what they do are often a mystery. Or we build an app for all 10 “types” of users we mentally envision. We end up with apps full of functions and data, but without any particular “story” or “goal” built in, expecting users to know how to do what they need to do, and we’ll give them a manual or a training session if they don’t know already.

What To Do Instead

Pick 3 goals that will help your users achieve your vision. Make those the predominant pathways that a user can choose. The more you focus, the better these 3 goals will get used, helping to realize your end vision. More options won’t “bring more functionality” to your users, it will just dilute your results.


An inventory lookup app might have a store picker, then a list of inventory in that store, with a search box at the top to input a barcode for a specific item. If you are changing your app to help guide toward our goal from step 1, a redesign might have a main screen with 2 buttons: 1) Buy a Product; 2) Order More Products.

The flows would 1) help me check out a user who is looking for an item not in the store (or maybe even in the store, but on shelves out of sight) and 2) lookup a product by name or barcode and request more inventory for my shelves. When someone suggests that a “pack-down” or store-walk feature would fit well in this app, you can simply evaluate whether or not that helps you achieve the goal of “making every product available to customers anywhere.” No?

Blake Byrnes

Blake Byrnes

Founder & CTO at BlueFletch.