DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
User Stories serve different purposes for User Experience and Digital Asset Management professionals. The distinction is important and also demonstrates the usefulness of writing stories at different points of a DAM system’s lifecycle. For UX pros, a user story “describes one possible path a user can take on your site or app” (Marsh, 2014). These processes may be mapped to terms in a taxonomy in what is called mapping user scenarios. For a DAM professional, User Stories express “the desired outcome of a single interaction with the system from the perspective of a specific user role interacting with that system” (Leli, 2012). The main similarity here is that they are written from a user’s perspective. In UX the stories will describe flows, or sequences of user choices. In DAM, stories focus on what users want to achieve and are justified with a business goal or value (Leli, 2012).
WHY YOU SHOULD USE THEM
By writing User Stories you make the needs and watns of users explicit. When written down, stakeholders can review and help prioritize them. In some cases, especially those involving choosing a new DAM system, deliberate choices must be made about which functions are required and which are optional. If you are fortunate there will be a few that folks are willing to forego for other, more important, functions. In most cases, though, priority will be given to functions with the highest business value.
Building User Stories will eventually help you define your DAM system’s success criteria and help you sort out roles and permissions for your DAM system (Athey, 2013).
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
User Stories should be short, simple, but complete. You’ll need to exhaustively collect users stories from all intended user groups and tie each of them to a business goal to demonstrate their value to your organization.
User stories consist of four parts;
- The User Role
- The Function
- Desired Outcome
- Business Objective (value)
<user role>, I want to
<function> so that I can achieve
- Keep them Simple (Focus on one thing)
- Exclude conditions or limitations
- Focus on answering what the user does (not how they do it)
- Avoid thinking of how they do it
- Include business goals as often as you can
Each User Story should fit on to an index card so keep them short and to the point.
As a video editor, I want to view all high definition video clips of our CEO giving a roundtable talk about this year’s financials so that I can communicate our strategic plan to our company’s board of directors.
Nothing in the story describes how to solve the problem or design the interface, but suggests a solution is possible.
Use the INVEST method to guide your story writing.
- Avoid dependencies with other stories
- Write stories to establish a foundation
- Combine stories if possible so they can be delivered in a single iteration
- Stories are not a contract
- Keep them general; too much detail gives the impression that more discussion on the story is not necessary
- Not every story must be negotiable, constraints may exist that prevent it
- Each story should demonstrate value to the Users, Customers, and Stakeholders
- Enough detail should be listed to allow the team to estimate effort
- Sized Appropriately
- Each story should be small enough to be completed in a single iteration (sprint)
- Tests should be automated whenever possible
- Establish clear acceptance criteria
How do you write user stories?
Athey, J. (2013, February 23). Widen digital asset management user stories: What to think about when we ask. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from http://www.widen.com/blog/widen-digital-asset-management-user-stories-what-to-think-about-when-we-ask
Leli, S. (2012, September). User Stories Writing. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/raist81/user-stories-writing?qid=cf2197a8-8dd7-41b0-ab34-c541e15ef3cf&v=qf1&b=&from_search=29
Marsh, J. (2014, January 10). User Stories & Types of Information. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from http://thehipperelement.com/post/72874272820/daily-ux-crash-course-10-of-31
McCarthy, S. (2013, November). Agile User Stories. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/SheldonMcCarthy/business-analysis-and-user-stories