What are user stories, why are they needed and how to write good user stories?
What is a user story?
A user's story is a general description of the functionality of a site (program) that is written from the end user's perspective. Its purpose is to articulate what functionality your site needs and what value it will provide to you and your site visitors.
Customer-oriented companies are 60 percent more profitable compared to product-oriented companies.
If you want to create a successful - visitor-friendly and interesting site, you need to understand the needs of your potential customers, define the target audience and then create the most friendly and interesting site for that target audience. It is for this reason that user stories are written from the end users' point of view and use non-technical language.
Why create user stories?
User stories ensure that you and the site development team UNDERSTAND the site being created, why it is being built, and how much value the end user needs to create. As a result, the process of creating a site is smoother and the site is created faster, it costs less and most importantly, it is tailored as precisely as possible to the needs and desires of your target audience and end users.
Note that the term "end user" means not only visitors to the public part of the site, but all users of the site, including site administrators, content editors, content authors, designers, and so on.
Let's look at it with the following example:
The goal of the business is to create a flower trade and delivery service.
To do this, you need to organize:
- Purchase of flowers;
- Storage of flowers;
- Sale and delivery of flowers;
Each of these tasks involves several subtasks, for example, selling flowers could involve creating a website where people can view the offer of flowers, buy them, and order delivery.
In this case, this website should provide several functionalities, such as:
- An employee of the company must make sure that the current flower offer is displayed on the website - post photos and descriptions of the new flowers and remove those that may be sold out or not available at the moment;
- An employee of the company has to collect the received orders;
- A company employee has to arrange the delivery of flowers;
- The warehouse manager must keep track of stocks and replenish stocks if necessary;
- The manager of the company must receive information about financial and other benefits or losses;
- Marketing people are more likely to want to receive information about the activities of visitors to the site while they are on the site, to collect contact information for customers and visitors to the site so that they can send them various types of announcements and offers;
User stories are descriptions of these activities around the following formula - As [owner / site administrator / page visitor] I want [activity] to [advantage / value], for example:
- As a site content editor, I want a new photo of flowers and descriptions to appear on the home page for as many visitors as possible;
- As a site content editor, I want to control the appearance of articles (including images and videos) so that they are visually appealing;
- As an order picker, I want to receive information about confirmed orders so that I can complete them within 10 minutes of being approved;
- As a business manager, I want to see site traffic statistics and visitor activity so I can identify discrepancies or potential issues;
- As a marketer, I want to send new customers coupons for future purchases to encourage repeat purchases;
- As a site visitor, I want to search the body of the pages, the titles, and the names of the authors so I can quickly find what I want;
- As a site visitor, I want to comment on articles so that others can read them;
How to write user stories
The main purpose of user stories is to understand what functionality a website needs, both from the point of view of its visitors, from the point of view of you as the owner of the page and other users of the website. Plus - it is desirable to indicate the criteria for accepting each functionality / job according to which you will assess whether the specific functionality has been implemented and, consequently, also the quality of our work.
When creating user stories, try to:
- Think about it ko You want to solve / create / achieve, not how to to do it. Thus, you will not limit the possible solutions and we may be able to offer you a more efficient, safer or cheaper solution;
- Try to write as concisely and concisely as possible. This is difficult, but the simpler and more unambiguous the wording, the less chance of misunderstanding;
- One action - one story. If you want to write something like "as a customer I want to browse items and add them to the cart", better divide it into 2 separate stories.
- Remember to add a clear acceptance criterion to each user's story so that it can be verified that it is implemented correctly (which suggests an action when it is performed, what the outcome is. For example, when a user fills out an application form, the data entered is saved and exported to CSV .).
- Try to structure user stories, such as by the type of user - the functionality required by the site administrator, the functionality required by the content editor, the functionality required by site visitors, and more. For instance:
|Advantage / value
|As a company manager
|I want to see site traffic statistics and visitor activity
|so I can identify anomalies or potential problems
|Data is available on the number of visitors to the site and individual pages, how long they have been on each page, from which page they went and from which they left
|As a site visitor
|I want to search in the body of the page, in the titles and by the names of the authors
|so I can quickly find what I want
|Every page on your site has a search box, and typing any word or phrase will find all the pages that mention that word or phrase.
|I want to comment on articles
|for others to read
|Each article has the option to add a comment and the last 20 comments are displayed below the article
Benefits of user stories
- Helps to create functionalities that meet the needs of users and define the resources needed to implement them;
- Facilitates prioritization and helps focus on business value and customer needs;
- Saves time and money by providing an equal understanding between the customer and the contractor about what needs to be created and why;
- Helps keep track of development history (which features were added and when) to avoid duplication of functionality;
- Provides design flexibility, as the work is divided into smaller components, which can be modified if necessary;
- Encourages collaboration between the customer and the contractor and creative solutions, as the technical side is left to the developers, who are more likely to be able to find the most suitable / cost-effective / fastest solutions.
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