User Story Mapping

User story mapping

User story mapping visualizes the flow of actions from a user perspective. It can include steps in different touchpoints (Sales, Product, Customer support…). A User story map can evolve into a Customer journey map.

Instead of focusing on individual User interfaces (UI’s) and screens too early, it’s beneficial to map out the users story to get the full picture. You should aim for complete flows and make separate maps for each different target user. The goal of User story mapping is to uncover the details of what is really required to deliver customer value.

In a nutshell

Time

1 – 4 hours

Participants

– UX Designer

– Product Owner

– Agile coach

Domain expert

Materials

– Post-its
– Pens
– Whiteboard or whiteboard paper

 

Online/digital tools:

Mural

StoriesOnboard 

 

Learning materials

PREPARE

Shared understanding. Before you dive into User story maps, you should have a clear idea who your different user groups are and what the end goal they are motivated to achieve is. 

If you are reworking an existing flow, meet your users and record the current flow! This will jump start you on the right track easily.

DURING

Work on one target group at a time. Write the end point / goal on one post-it and stick it on the wall.

Discuss and figure out the starting point. What is the first trigger / action that the user is doing. If there are multiple starting points, map them all in different post-its.

Complete the flow. Continue to fill the steps between start and end to get complete flow.

Mind the gaps. If you get stuck or think there are blurry areas in the flow, take note of them and do user research (analytics, interviews, field studies, user testing, stakeholder interviews…) to find out the missing steps.

AFTER

Make use of the map. You can use the map to plan your releases and sprints. Make sure that each iteration delivers complete steps and not multiple incomplete things. 

You can also use the map to estimate which the crucial steps or transitions between steps are. These have a high risk of confusing users and we should design solutions for them.

Tips

  • You should always incorporate real users (workshops, user research) when mapping out User stories. Otherwise you can end up building things based on wrongly assumed blueprints!

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