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Going from High Level Goals to Feature Delivery | 7wlite Blog

Products only exist (or should exist) to solve human needs, from people that went after the product with an expectation. A product is effective if it fully satisfies these needs. On the other hand, a product is efficient once it achieves these goals in a faster, easier, or simpler way than the existing alternatives.

Going Chrono Cut
In the end, a customer adopts a product if it's effective, but will only keep using it as long as it does the job efficiently
Effectiveness: solving what matters

A user goal could seem simple. Let's say you lead a team that needs to build a to-do list manager. A simple goal, right? We need to help people manage their daily tasks.

Not so fast. What user interviews are probably going to show you is those goals usually come with a point of view. It all depends on the people you're targeting for your product. So, for one group of people, an app like this exists to:

"Improve my daily productivity"

To another, it could be:

"Make progress in personal and long-lasting projects"

And to a third one, it might be:

"Turn complex corporate projects into daily steps"

The interviews are also going to reveal that a goal is usually made of multiple scenarios. Effectiveness is about making these scenarios come true. For example, if the audience's goal is to "Make progress in personal and long-lasting projects", these could be the scenarios involved:

a) "I clearly see my evolution, on the different projects I created"

b) "I feel that my friends and family are important in this journey, so it's crucial that they participate in it"

c) "I prefer to not disclosure certain projects until a certain point"

Efficiency: solving well what's important

A goal's scenarios are the starting point to achieve efficiency. However, the focus here is not to design with them in mind. Instead, your design should stimulate and make more frequent the behaviors that make these scenarios happen.

Continuing on the same example, let's say you want to tackle this scenario:

b) "I feel that my friends and family are important in this journey, so it's crucial that they participate in it"

Some user behaviors need to happen, to make this scenario become a reality. Here, we need the user to invite their friends and family into the project. Also, we want that their friends and family to accept the invitation and give feedback.

Features: a logical next step

Now, you have a clearer picture to begin thinking about features. We're no longer dealing with something as broad and unclear as "making a to-do list manager". We're designing to enable behaviors that support one of the multiple aspects involved in a given goal.

Effectiveness is solving what matters. Efficiency is picking the best path to do it. Behaviors are where you design to make both possible.