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A user story is a summary of a potential user’s experience with your product. It is often written in the format: “As a user, I want to view all my upcoming tasks so I can get a sense of what lies ahead for me.”
User story maps are a powerful tool for any type of software development, from complex enterprise-level projects to small personal apps. It’s helpful when you’re working on a product and want to see what’s missing, if you have more than one person working on the product, and when you need additional information about your users.
What is a user story?
A user story is a summary of a potential user’s experience with your product. They are often written in the format: “As ____, I want to _____ so that I can _____ .”
“As a user, I want to view all my upcoming tasks so I can get a sense of what lies ahead for me.”
This format has several advantages. It allows you to emphasize the purpose of the requirement, the “how to” part of the user story. This is important because it is the part that shows how the user will use the product and tells you when they have reached the part that adds value to the product.
🎁 Bonus Material
Free User Story Examples in our free downloadable Story Mapping Playbook. We have collected 100 story examples of the most common cases, such as the registration process or the logout process, with different scenarios to show ready-made solutions.
What is a story map?
User story mapping is a collaborative process for visualizing how your users will interact with your product, breaking down features into small, digestible tasks, and assigning those tasks to team members who can work on them simultaneously.
With user story mapping, you’ll be able to see what parts of your product are getting the most value, how long each feature is taking to develop, and where you might have an existing backlog.
Who created story maps?
User story mapping was created by Jeff Patton, a Silicon Valley veteran with more than 20 years of experience in product development. After experiencing the benefits of story mapping firsthand, he wrote about his experiences in his book, User Story Mapping.
Who needs story maps?
User story mapping is a powerful tool for any type of software development, from complex enterprise-level projects to small personal apps.
Even if you don’t work in software development, user story mapping can be an invaluable tool for organizing your thoughts, understanding your users’ needs, and editing out unnecessary features.
When to use story maps?
Use it when you want to get an overview of your project or need to map out the entire user journey.
It’s helpful when you’re working on a product and want to see what’s missing, if you have more than one person working on the product, and when you need additional information about your users.
How does user story mapping work?
User story mapping is an entire process where you map your product, feature-by-feature, in chronological order. You then identify who the user for that feature is and what they want from it.
A story map begins when you gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey.
For instance, if you were mapping an app for grocery shopping, you would want to know about when these users shop for groceries, how they shop for them, what features they use while shopping, and why they use those features. A user story map takes users’ information and motivations so you can create a more effective existing product with features that are used by most people.
To create a user story, you need to have some kind of a user story format, or better yet, a user story mapping template. You can write user stories by hand, but digital user story mapping takes far less time. You can write down all the tasks and the whole narrative flow without making a mess with sticky notes.
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What are some benefits of user story map examples?
User story mapping gives your product team a clear overview of your product’s features and how they will be implemented. This visual approach to the entire product development allows you to communicate in a concise and organized manner with the entire team to help them understand their specific contributions, and it builds team consensus in that way.
User story maps also allow you to visualize the project timeline and provide insight so that all the product teams are on the same page.
User story maps are used by many software development teams as a tool to manage complex projects and understand both the user value and the business value throughout the product vision.
Story map examples help you understand story mapping better than other methods
User story mapping is a visual approach to product development that prioritizes user needs and understands who your users are and what they want.
The user map gives you an overview of the feature specifications, highlights any missing features or gaps in functionality, and helps you identify where to focus your resources.
You can use story map examples as templates and show others how story mapping works as a powerful product discovery method
User story mapping helps you and your development team understand who your users are, their user activities, and how to prioritize any particular feature of your product.
If you’re new to user story mapping, it can be helpful to use story map examples and follow these tips:
- Indicate which user each card represents.
- Start with a sentence or two about the user scenario.
- Add details to the cards on what would need to happen for that scenario to be fulfilled.
- Use StoriesOnBoard’s software to avoid using sticky notes but still be able to rearrange your map as necessary.
Story map examples
Story map examples let us visualize the user feedback while visiting your website. For smaller user stories, you can do a collaborative exercise with the agile team, and map out the user’s journey.
However, product managers often forget that in the user story mapping example, the initial story map can create horizontal “slices” throughout the map. Then, teams map user stories according to their level of importance inside each important user action, making visually mapping group stories another development strategy.
Webshop user story map example
For the webshop, a designer would go about the user story mapping exercise by showing the customer journeys.
It starts with the customer browsing the website, searching for the products, then selecting items to purchase, and finally checking out.
However, that is the most basic user story map that can be elaborated on in so many ways. For example, the customer could browse categories or do a direct search. They could sign in, sign up, or choose to purchase without signing up/in.
Chat service user story map example
In the chat service user story map example, the designer has created a user story map for a chat service. The designer has gone through and detailed the various features of the chat service. This allows him to think of all the different steps that might be involved with this product.
In some cases, it’s very difficult to get everything in one picture and identify gaps. This is why you should break your project down into several pictures or user story maps, and then put them together at the end.
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How to use a good user story map example?
User story mapping is a product management technique that can be used to plan and develop a product.
A user story map helps you prioritize user needs, understand your users, identify the minimum viable product for each user persona, and narrate the experience from the user’s perspective. One of the most common questions people have when they begin using story map examples is: “What should I put on my map?”
Understanding the customer’s needs is critical. We’re looking for real-world scenarios and settings that go along with a user’s participation in a certain scenario.
The most difficult part of any user story mapping session is finding a compromise between the needs of the users and the client’s business objectives.
While we all have different styles of productivity, it is crucial to have a way to visually organize your business ideas. User story mapping is becoming one of the most popular ways of visualizing your product plan and mapping out potential user journeys. Be sure to make time to work on your user story maps to maximize productivity and avoid confusion. The story map examples above are an effective way to practice.