What are User Stories?
User stories are representations of small instances in peoples’ lives. They are a type of scenario used in design processes to enable a designer to empathize with a user and, from there, generate ideas that fit into the user’s life. Rich in trivial details, such as activities, thoughts, and emotions, user stories can be presented through different media.
In order to create user stories, a rich fund of information is needed on the users’ lives. A designer or design team can only obtain this by conducting qualitative research. Observations, contextual interviews, and other ethnographic methods are typically used in the research process. Users can also be asked to create their own personal stories actively—doing so after being provided with a probes kit. Such kits hold a variety of materials and assignments that the users can complete over the course of a week so as to capture their experiences from their own perspectives—and in context—for the designer. When all information from multiple users is gathered, the designer selects the most relevant insights for the design problem, and then merges these into cohesive user stories. They can be represented as written stories, visualized storyboards, or short movies.
In a design process, stories are what designers use to help them empathize with the target groups. These also serve as inspiration when designers are creating solutions that fit into their users’ daily activities. They can be used alongside personas or integrated with them. Understanding just how much closer user stories bring the users’ world to the drawing board is key for any designer whose aim is to fine-tune a product that will consistently latch with the users’ needs on a daily basis.
Literature on User Stories
Here’s the entire UX literature on User Stories by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:
Learn more about User Stories
Take a deep dive into User Stories with our course User Research – Methods and Best Practices .
How do you plan to design a product or service that your users will love, if you don't know what they want in the first place? As a user experience designer, you shouldn't leave it to chance to design something outstanding; you should make the effort to understand your users and build on that knowledge from the outset. User research is the way to do this, and it can therefore be thought of as the largest part of user experience design.
In fact, user research is often the first step of a UX design process—after all, you cannot begin to design a product or service without first understanding what your users want! As you gain the skills required, and learn about the best practices in user research, you’ll get first-hand knowledge of your users and be able to design the optimal product—one that’s truly relevant for your users and, subsequently, outperforms your competitors’.
This course will give you insights into the most essential qualitative research methods around and will teach you how to put them into practice in your design work. You’ll also have the opportunity to embark on three practical projects where you can apply what you’ve learned to carry out user research in the real world. You’ll learn details about how to plan user research projects and fit them into your own work processes in a way that maximizes the impact your research can have on your designs. On top of that, you’ll gain practice with different methods that will help you analyze the results of your research and communicate your findings to your clients and stakeholders—workshops, user journeys and personas, just to name a few!
By the end of the course, you’ll have not only a Course Certificate but also three case studies to add to your portfolio. And remember, a portfolio with engaging case studies is invaluable if you are looking to break into a career in UX design or user research!
We believe you should learn from the best, so we’ve gathered a team of experts to help teach this course alongside our own course instructors. That means you’ll meet a new instructor in each of the lessons on research methods who is an expert in their field—we hope you enjoy what they have in store for you!
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