In order to achieve market success, the software should reflect the user’s needs. In the increasingly competitive market, the pressure on the user-oriented interface, workflow, and functionalities is strengthening. To keep the competitive edge, companies have to adjust to this changing reality. They can do it by picking a particular methodology or implementing its elements that put the user’s needs in the spotlight. User stories are a great example of such.
How can you write a user story? Who usually takes care of that? What are the main benefits of such a solution, and what challenges does it bring? Our article addresses all these questions. Dive deep into the topic to learn how to use user stories in practice.
What is a User Story?
Let’s start from the basics. Every software has features that the team works on throughout the development process. User stories describe these features from the end user’s perspective.
User stories are not equal to the traditionally understood software requirements. The latter does not adopt the user’s view, focusing on the tasks the team has to execute. Next to the sprints, user stories are a core element of Agile methodologies, which put customer satisfaction first. Although you might associate it mainly with Scrum, they are also common in Kanban or Extreme Programming. However, the roles responsible for writing user stories may differ depending on the methodology.
User Story Agile Example. What Does a User Story Look Like?
Hearing “story” you may have a long, detailed piece of information in mind, but that’s not how it works in agile software development. The shorter your user story is, the better. That’s because it serves as a signpost for the software development team. Looking at it, they should get a clear idea of a particular feature and the value it brings at first glance. If they have to read into a user story and struggle to interpret it, that’s a red flag – it means it should be refined before going back to the backlog.
User stories may adopt different forms, but the most common one involves three elements:
- who wants to achieve a goal?
- what is the goal they want to achieve?
- why do they want to achieve that goal?
Let’s imagine you are developing an innovative ridesharing application. One of your user stories could look like that:
As a user experience designer, I want the user to be capable to pick their preferred route to the destinations so that they can have the most personalized ridesharing experience.
Don’t forget to involve the acceptance criteria which validate the assumptions of a particular user story. In this case, it could look like that:
Given that the user has a choice between particular routes when searching for a ride, the percentage of finalized bookings rises.
How to Write a Good User Story?
User stories do not have a defined form that you should stick to. You can go for a verified template we brought up in the previous paragraph or find your own way to write a user story. However, remember to focus on the value the particular feature provides to the end users. Don’t go too technical – instead, have the user’s perspective in mind.
If it still sounds vague, you can reach out for an INVEST principle, which defines the features of a well-written user story. As it goes in the acronym, it should be:
Who Writes User Stories?
In Scrum, which dominates in the IT environment, particularly among agile methodologies, the Product Owner is responsible for writing user stories. They are often called a “bridge” between the team and the end-user. PO’s role is to get into the user’s shoes and communicate their needs to the team.
If you would like to know more about the user stories and the process of their development, you can find deep insights on Inwedo’s blog.
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