A Quick Guide To Using User Story Maps For Business

Visualizing consumer journeys and finding ways to offer a seamless user experience is an integral part of successful product development. It helps cross-functional team collaboration and improves the product’s market fit. 

One of the most vital exercises in the planning stage of any part of a business is user story mapping. Team members from different teams and departments can contribute to creating buyer journeys that provide insight into the steps that a prospect undertakes to achieve their goal. 

Why Use User Story Mapping?

With visualization proven to help find timely information as opposed to conventional data recovery tools, there are various benefits to using story mapping templates for your business. 

Prioritizes User Value

By focusing on the user journey, story maps visualize the product from the consumer’s perspective. This helps them focus on user experience and leads to a much improved UX.

Improves Product Value

Mapping user journeys early in the process helps product development teams prioritize releases based on how valuable they are for the users. By delivering increased value earlier in the process, businesses can test user experience early, identifying their most important features.

Improves Team Collaboration

A user story map offers a complete understanding of the consumer journey, helping different teams come to a shared view of the work required to make it possible. A shared consensus helps with team collaboration, and in turn, improves efficiency.

How To Create A Story Map?

Story mapping organizes user activity along the horizontal axis in the correct order in time. Also, the order of value of the stories is represented at the vertical axis. 

The first thing you see on the map is the backbone of the story map – steps the user will take to achieve their goal. Various user activities form part of the map.

For instance, if you want to have a system accommodating people to make purchases, a simple user story map will consist of the following steps:

  1. Find product 
  2. Select product 
  3. Buy product
  4. Receive product

Let’s discuss this in detail. Here are four steps to creating story maps:

  1. Discover Project Goals

The initial step is focusing on your potential clients. First, give a brief of the goals achieved by users by using the item. Then, on an index card, write each goal and organize them into a rational order.

One such example is, on a clothing website, the agenda can be:

  1. Find the latest summer collection
  2. Choose items for purchase
  3. Formal wear
  4. Map The User Journey

Once the goals are collected, repeat the user journey. Recognize the steps taken by the user to fulfill their purpose. Follow the narrative flow to avoid any errors. On the second line, place the post, step-by-step. If you discover a missing step, add it to the journey.

Although the smart solution to producing small documents is post-it notes, the online story mapping templates carry more flexibility.

  1. Come Up With Solutions

The next step is to look for a solution to achieve the user steps; this process is vital for creating the user story. At first, you can use this template:

Using the clothing website example, user stories are: “As a user, I want to find a dress for my ball, So I start searching the advertisements and discounts” or “As a user, I want to find a dress till next month, so I start my search by this date.” 

The best way is to brainstorm with your team to develop the best possible solutions and align all user stories to the agreed steps.

  1. Organize Tasks Based On Priority 

The story mapping process will lead to better results if the brainstorming session with the team goes successfully. However, there are different priority levels in user stories. 

First, identify the usual behavior or the simplest solution to the query. Then, arrange user stories by priority and location of the most vital card at the high rank of the column

The best criteria for determining the priority is consumer feedback. Make sure to loop in all stakeholders and identify market gaps to improve product value.

Conclusion

Teams who implement user story mapping need to refer to the abovementioned steps. These will help them understand the consumers better and build empathy for what they wish to achieve. 

Story mapping is a method that may assist product managers and their groups create customer value in a gradual, iterative manner, with the opportunity to learn and evolve as they go.


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Claire Rogstad
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