Why Are User Stories Helpful?
While it’s important to understand the primary objective of your website or piece of software, it’s very likely there will be a number of secondary objectives, intended to draw in different people who need to accomplish different things.
Generating user stories is an important early step in the planning process because your users directly inform the list of required features for your build. There’s no guessing, no making assumptions about what your clients and customers might want or need. We determine exactly who those people are, and we build for them. Because no matter how complex the process or how fancy the tech stack, at the end of the day this is about connecting with real people.
And as it allows you to connect more deeply with your clients, it allows us to collaborate more deeply with you and make full use of your subject matter expertise. Nobody knows your audience better than you, and working together to create a clear picture of your site requirements takes us out of the technical code realm and puts us in the real world, with real people interacting with your products and services.
Finally, a solid collection of user stories creates a framework for testing. When you know the who, the what and the why, it’s easy to determine whether a specific objective is met. It helps you identify sticking points and solve them before real customers and clients encounter them.
One of our favourite methods for testing features before they’re shipped is to assign different user stories to our colleagues and have them navigate the site according to their user’s goal. These tests very quickly reveal any roadblocks in the user flows we’ve created.