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Guide to user stories

User story tips

Infographic

User stories are an agile approach that helps developers shift their focus from technical requirements to practical requirements. This is done by describing a products’ features from an end-users’ or clients’ perspective as opposed to the developers’ perspective.

This method helps explain why products are to be developed and makes product requirements easier to define, understand and revise. It also helps non-technical members of the development team understand the functionality of the product.

User stories are a key component of many agile methodologies. You can learn about them, along with many other agile practices by enrolling on an Agile Project Management course.

Step-by-step guide to user stories

1. Define your end-user

Who will be using your product?

Example:

  • A parent.
  • A schoolteacher.
  • A digital artist.

2. Specify what the end-user wants

What solution are you offering?

Example:

  • “I want to check on my sleeping baby without entering the room.”
  • “I want to access research papers.”
  • “I want an easy way to post my creative content.”

3. Describe the benefit

What will the user gain from using your product?

Example:

  • “So that I know my baby is safe without disturbing him.”
  • “So I can easily distribute them to my class.”
  • “So that my content will be seen by a wider audience.”

4. Add acceptance criteria

What determines this story as ‘done’?

Example:

  • Alerts to be sent to registered smartphone if a problem is detected.
  • Documents can be accessed, downloaded and shared with one click.
  • Uploaded content is automatically shared to social media.

Top tips for creating a good user story

  • Develop a persona profile to visualize your end-users.
  • Always write from your end-users’ perspective.
  • Avoid adding too many technical details early.
  • Try not to add too many acceptance criteria.
  • Keep stories brief.
  • Make sure they meet your definition of ‘done.’

User story infographic

This infographic explains how to best create user stories to aid your agile project development.

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