Goal-Directed Design is a user-centered design process that combines various techniques such as ethnography, stakeholder interviews, market research, user modeling, scenario-based design, and interaction principles and patterns to create digital products that meet the needs and goals of users. The process not only addresses the needs of users but also takes into consideration the business and technical requirements. The GDD process is divided into six phases, which are Research, Modeling, Requirements Definition, Structure Definition, Refinement, and Support.
Research: The first phase of the GDD process involves conducting research to gain a deep understanding of the users, their needs, and their goals. This includes conducting ethnography, stakeholder interviews, and market research. Ethnography involves observing and studying the behavior of users in their natural environment. Stakeholder interviews involve talking to stakeholders, such as business owners or subject matter experts, to gather their insights and perspectives. Market research involves gathering data about the market, including competitor analysis and customer feedback. By conducting research, designers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the user’s context, behavior, and needs.
Modeling: In this phase, the information gathered in the research phase is used to create detailed user models. The user models help the designer understand the user’s context, behavior, and needs. A user model can include information such as demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals. User models can also include personas, which are fictional characters that represent the target user group. Personas can help designers better understand the user’s perspective and create a design that meets their needs.
Requirements Definition: Based on the user models, the designer defines the requirements for the product. This includes identifying the user’s motivations, needs, and goals. Requirements definition is a crucial step in the GDD process as it helps ensure that the product will meet the user’s needs. During this phase, designers may use tools such as user stories and use cases to define the requirements. User stories describe the user’s experience from their perspective, while use cases describe the steps a user takes to achieve a specific goal.
Structure Definition: In this phase, the designer creates a structure and framework for the product, which includes defining the interaction principles and patterns that will be used. The framework provides a structure for the product and helps ensure that it meets the user’s needs. Interaction principles and patterns are guidelines for how users will interact with the product. They provide a consistent user experience and ensure that the product is easy to use. The framework also includes information on the user interface, navigation, and information architecture.
Refinement: The next phase involves refining the product design by emphasizing specific details and how to put things into practice. Interaction designers make specific tasks flow smoothly by testing critical paths and storyboarding how users will interact with the interface. This allows the designer to make changes and improve the design based on user feedback; on the other hand, visual designers create a style guide for type, icons, and other visual elements to ensure a clear and visually appealing experience. If necessary, At the end of the Refinement phase, all the details are documented and presented in either a written or interactive format, depending on the situation.
Support: The final phase of the GDD process is support. This involves providing ongoing support to ensure that the product continues to meet the needs and goals of users. This may include fixing bugs, adding new features, and updating the product. Support is important to ensure that the product remains relevant and meets the changing needs of users over time.
An example of the GDD process can be seen in developing a new app for a food delivery service. In the research phase, the design team conducts ethnography to observe the behavior of users when ordering food online. They also conduct stakeholder interviews to gather insights from business owners and subject matter experts. In the modeling phase, the design team creates personas based on the information gathered in the research phase to understand the user’s perspective better. In the requirements definition phase, the team defines the user’s motivations, needs, and goals and creates user stories and use cases to describe the user’s experience.
In the structure definition phase, the team creates a framework for the app, including the interaction principles and patterns that will be used. The framework provides a structure for the app and ensures that it is easy to use. In the refinement phase, the design team creates prototypes and tests them with users to gather feedback. Based on the feedback, the team makes changes to improve the design. In the support phase, the team provides ongoing support to ensure that the app remains relevant and meets the changing needs of users over time.
The GDD process is a comprehensive approach to creating digital products that meet the needs and goals of users. By combining various techniques, such as ethnography, stakeholder interviews, and user modeling, the GDD process provides a deep understanding of the user’s context, behavior, and needs. By using prototyping and testing, the GDD process ensures that the product is user-friendly and meets the user’s needs. Ongoing support ensures that the product remains relevant and continues to meet the changing needs of users over time.