[Tip] – Agile User Stories – Specific Role Names (Personas)

Quick tip for today from Michael Bosch:

Make sure you write down a [specific] role when you write a story, also called a “persona.”

Make your user story more valuable to a reader by giving more specifics about the user.

For example:

As a [customer], I want to [save my session], so that I can [return and complete the form later].

A better way:

As a [returning user / un-registered user / super-user / admin / etc.]… I want to… So that…

“This level of specificity could provide valuable insight into the intended audience and how best to implement the feature.” – Michael Bosch

Thanks Mike!

[HT: MikeBosch]

7 Responses to “[Tip] – Agile User Stories – Specific Role Names (Personas)”

  1. Derek Huether
    March 9, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    For brevity, I know people sometimes are looking for shortcuts. But, I have yet to skinny down a user story past the who, what, why. Without the “who”, you’re just going to wind up with unnecessary conversations later in the process. Prevent that waste by just writing good user stories.

    I didn’t realize how efficient a user story was until I recently tried to review a requirements document, written 5+ years ago, with over 800 shall statements. That’s 800 omissions of both who and why. How do you spell REWORK?

    • peter
      March 9, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      Having a growing living document of personas is a way to go. I covered that in my User Story Workshops that I do. Understanding the WHO is so crucial!

  2. Will Sansbury
    March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    This is a really important topic, in my opinion, especially when it comes to doing good UX design in agile. The specific who can dramatically change what the right design direction is for a user story.

    In fact, I have a presentation that explains how knowing the who can matters. http://slidesha.re/dhlH3r


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