What Are User Stories And Why You Should Write Them?
User stories should be at the heart of every software.
Most developers are familiar with a feeling that some functionalities or features in the project are useless, and don’t understand why they are added.
Very often, this misunderstanding between the developer, and the user is the foundation of poor product execution, and ultimately – failure.
And this is why we all need user stories – to understand how our customers would behave in a new environment.
If you ever wondered why 90% of startups fail, you will see that the number one reason, is that they focus on the product, and not on the customer (end-user).
But this problem is actually far deeper than you think.
Without a clear understanding of your user (or customer) you cannot:
- build the right business strategy
- find a product-market fit
- choose the right marketing/advertising tactics
- convince your investors that anybody will ever use it and pay for it
Pretty much, everything you need to run a profitable business.
So if there is one single reason why your product will fail, I would say that it’s just been built for your own pleasure, and nobody else.
This is why you need to use User Stories.
Short descriptions, that will help people understand what is so exciting, or at least useful in your product, and why it is worth anybody’s attention.
What is User Story?
User Story is a short description of a feature, or functionality, from the user’s point of view.
In other words, it’s a kind of “requirement” or “request” from the end-user perspective.
The popularity of this term grew together with a Scrum methodology and is mainly used by product owners to help developers understand the goal and the user’s motives behind specific features and functionalities.
Why using User Stories?
I think what we said in our introduction is enough reason to use it.
But not the only one. If on top of that, you value time and clarity at work, you will definitely love it.
There are many advantages to using clear User Stories.
The list begins from:
- Providing a clear definition of your product.
- Help you define the final goal and the “big picture”.
- Present functionalities of your product with no technical jargon.
- Encourage the non-technical members in product build.
- Provide better communication by focusing on what matters the most for the user.
In other words, well-prepared and properly written User Stories can have a significant impact on the whole development process, by understanding the real purpose of each and every feature.
If everyone in your team has a clear understanding of it, you raise the chance they will be also more engaged and bring better execution ideas that nobody thought about before.
User Stories are not Epics
Don’t mix them up.
The main difference is that Epics are large chunks of work that can be later divided into specific User Stories.
User Stories are not Tasks
The most important difference is that a single User Story may need a lot of different tasks.
Tasks are about the implementation. It is a specific activity that needs to be done in order to make things happen.
User Stories are about a definition. It supposes to describe “what we do”, not “how are we going to do it”.
How to write a good User Story?
User Stories bring many advantages to the development process, as it is a simple way of clarifying the product’s goals and functionality.
This can significantly improve the collaboration of different parties – users, product owners, developers – and bring a lot of useful insights from each one of them.
On how to make good User Stories we will write in another article soon.