EX11 - User Stories

Finding the contours of the product

Before you can create a product, you first have to define what needs to be built.

Updated April 28, 2020

When we set out to create a new product, we lean on the design process to simplify our task. Anytime the task is too complicated, we attempt to insert another step to break the work down further. In reality, our tasks rarely become simpler, but they do become more approachable.

User Stories are a lot like the larger design process that we employ for product design. When we write User Stories, we’re trying to distill user goals and frustrations into actionable steps that can be tied together to solve a problem.

As a user + I need to accomplish a task + so I can meet a goal.

User Stories sound downright trivial, something that couldn’t possibly be difficult. Herein lies the dirty secret of User Stories — they are deceptively simple to create but often lack the proper detail to be useful.

Testing your user stories

The lack of detail in initial user stories is a known issue, but other common problems plague us as writers. Use the following questions to determine whether your efforts hit the mark:

  1. Is the user story written with a specific user in mind?
  2. Does the user story take into consideration whether this is a current or new user?
  3. Does the user story describe an action that can be taken?
  4. Are there other elements that the product needs for the user story to exist?

If any of the questions listed snags a user story, then it will require further work. Much like other methods we utilize, the earlier we discover the flaws in our user stories, the better off the project will be.

Resources for review

Please use the following items to guide your exercise attempt:

Article Source/Author
The Scope of Your Solution Emerges New Pragmatic
10 Tips For Writing Good User Stories Roman Pichler


Length: Two-to-three hours to complete.

The creation of user stories provides the first glimpse into what building a solution might require. It is important to remember that the shape of the task will change as the personas and scenarios are combined into new combinations.

Using the personas and scenarios built previously, create at least twenty different user stories that apply to the Meal Kit Delivery project. Indicate the user, task, and goal associated with each story. While you could write your user stories in a Google Doc, a spreadsheet is ideal for this task as you may be adding additional columns of information to this data later in the course.

Once complete, update your Program Journal with links to any assets produced in this exercise. Post your Journal in the #Feedback-Loop channel for review.

Up next Fresh Market: User Flows

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