User Story

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Published Jun 8, 2024
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A user story is a concise, informal statement that describes an interaction between a user and a product or service. User stories typically consist of a single sentence, are written in the first person, and use non-technical language to convey the user’s goals and desired outcomes.

Generally, a user story is formatted as follows:

As a [type of user], I [want to], [so that].

Components and Examples

Effective user stories use clear terms to outline the who, what, and why of an interaction between a user and a product or system. Here, who indicates an individual user or user group, what points to a specific action that the user or user group expects to complete, and why specifies the desired outcome of the interaction.

Here are some examples of user stories:

As a student (who), I want to find available books by subject (what), so that I can study in an effective manner (why).
As an online shopper (who), I want to filter items by sale price (what), so that I can save money (why).
As a subscriber to a movie portal (who), I want to search for shows by genre (what), so that I can watch what excites me (why).

Benefits of User Stories

User stories are an essential tool in user experience (UX) design, keeping the focus on the user’s needs and goals by allowing designers to better empathize with the user. Additionally, user stories:

  • Aid in communication among stakeholders by explicitly detailing design requirements in an accessible, easy-to-understand manner.
  • Allow designers to better contextualize a user’s interaction with a platform, design, or service and identify gaps or inconsistencies within a design.
  • Are a pivotal element within Agile project management methodologies that help teams to capture requirements and create smaller, more manageable units of work.
  • Provide a means to prioritize design efforts by identifying the workflows that are most essential to the user.

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