What is a User Story and Why You Need Them

Professionals discussing about a user story.

We live in a world that’s irredeemably dependent on the web. From grocery shopping to communicating with friends and loved ones, the internet has bridged more gaps than virtually any solution that’s ever been made. 

As a result, general advancements have also furthered our push for better and inclusive narratives. After all, if we’re communicating with each other, there has to be a message right?

This is where the power of user stories comes in. 

In the context of application development, user stories are those that include the what and why of a user. What is the user gaining from using an app and why should they keep doing so?

In other words, the equation is role plus feature plus gain—as a (user), I want (this to happen) so that I (gain this). 

Because software functions best when we’re able to fully articulate what problems it’s designed to solve, it’s important that we understand, too, what story we’d like to tell. 

Understanding user stories and their benefits 

Because user stories demand effective storytelling, they merit being placed in the center of discussions, allowing your market to be the topmost priority. 

What do my users need, and how am I able to efficiently deliver that need?

Rephrased more directly, app development teams are more able to build solutions confidently and accurately when they know precisely what overall message the app should convey. This is because user stories contribute to the essence of a product. When we understand the extent of problems we want to solve, agility becomes second nature, and fine-tuning software in favor of users feels more organic and fruitful. 

You don’t have to actually write a story 

Sure, drafting a little fable or depicting a picture through a few paragraphs is creatively helpful, but let’s remember that a great user story is anchored on conversations that are fostered among developers, business leaders, testers, and of course, the users themselves. The back and forth between these different parties is what continually allows a digital commodity to provide value. 

Here’s how you can approach a user story:

1. Begin with the ending and work backward 

Agile development is synonymous with customer satisfaction, so focus mainly on that—how do we define the value we want to bring, and what is the end goal? What need are we helping users with? Once we know what and why we want to solve a problem, we can start better substantiating the “how.”

Let’s say, for example’s sake, your goal is to whip up a tasty and elegant seafood marinara. Because you know how you want it to taste and how you want to present it, you now know which ingredients to buy and plateware to use.  

2. Take small steps 

Unless you have dozens of teams and an unlimited number of resources to pull from, then big steps won’t take you too far. As app development requires countless iterations for it to be successful, you’ll want to take small and calculated steps to help you manage both expectations and finances.

3. There’s a story for every step

When you’ve finally decided which steps you’re taking, feel free to write them down on a board or a notebook. You’ll often find that each step carries a story in itself. The more detailed your stories are per step, the easier it will be for you to actualise the product you want to build. 

What’s more, you can manipulate each step directly, too, and switch them around when and where needed. Prioritizing and scheduling things like these to become more feasible when your why supports your how and vice versa.

Useful examples

As a content manager with a global team, I want all of my team’s ideas on a board we can all look at simultaneously to better cascade assignments and flesh out social media art cards and their accompanying captions.

As a content manager with a global team, I want to be able to invite up to 12 members of my team per meeting so we can all discuss in unison how projects are better dealt with. 

As a content manager with a global team, I want to be able to create a list where I can move members around, granting them a better picture of how they can contribute to a task. 

Summary 

Entrepreneurs and developers can summarise the creation of user stories through 3 simple ideas: Steps — Discussions — Confirmation.

Steps

Each step can involve a story that makes it clear what its goal is.

Discussions

You organize discussions between users and app-makers, allowing the establishment of a product that’s precisely what you want your market to experience. This also gives developers a clearer picture of what the product requires and why it warrants them. 

Confirmation

As the name implies, confirmation involves meeting the set criteria the application calls for. This part consists of examples sourced from the discussions held in the earlier phases. 

Overall, user stories are collaborative efforts between clients and app developing agencies. To fully make real nuanced software, it takes creativity, specificity, and stellar storytelling techniques to cater to evolving user needs.

Do you have user stories you’d like to share with your audience? We’re the team to work with!

Give us a call today!

Join Our Blog 

Subscribe to get the latest blog news

Scroll to Top