Storytelling predates writing and has traditionally been used to entertain, educate, preserve culture and reinforce moral values. The key elements storytelling includes plot, characters and narrative point of view and all good stories include someone overcoming a problem or defeating a foe.
In modern times storytelling has been adapted as a means of advertising good and services for sale and this has evolved considerably as online medium have started to dominate.
In web design and software development, user stories are increasingly used to capture the requirements of website users in a way that is easy for them to explain and which captures much more useful information than a list of required features.
They are developed by simply allowing users (including administrators and editors) to tell stories about how they use a website or need to use a website. They can offer a fast way of capturing customer requirements without having to write formalized requirement documents.
Consider this example:
The website needs to have a list of attractions somewhere on the website.
As a visitor to Tichbornes Farm Cottages I want to be able to search for attractions by category so that I can see if there are activities to interest me nearby.
As a website operator, I want to be able to create and manage comprehensive local attraction listings with ease, so that I do not need to rely on Honeystone developers to do it for me.
As a website visitor, I want to know the name of the attraction I am interested in.
As a website visitor, I want to be presented with a main image of the attraction, so that I can quickly gauge an opinion of it.
As a website visitor, I want to be informed of the exact location of each attraction, so that I can decide whether it is a suitable attraction for me to visit.
As a website visitor, I want to see a map of the locations of all local attractions listed on the website, so that I can see at a glance what is available for me to visit, and choose a suitable attraction.
As a website visitor, I want to see a gallery of images for the attraction I am interested in staying in, so that I can gather a good opinion of the attraction, allowing me to guage if it is a suitable attraction for me to visit.
The requirement simply tells you that
The website needs a list of attractions somewhere on the website.
The user stories reveal much more about how the website needs to be developed to give the best possible user experience:
Local attraction listings as separate section on the website
A main “iconic” image for each attraction
Individual attraction locations and the ability to filter by your interests
An attraction map based on the Google maps API
A photo gallery for each attraction
As you can see the user story has revealed much more about how to provide a greater user experience for visitors. This will in turn give them a more enjoyable stay, possibly save time and fuel and give a better impression of the holiday let. Once the holiday is over the experience is likely to result in better feedback, more repeat business and hopefully even referrals.
The first structured format user stories for software development were developed by Ron Jeffries in 2001 and captures the "who", "what" and "why" of requirements in a concise and simple, way.
"As a <role>
Limitations and other tools
I founded Honeystone in 2003 to help people achieve greater success by harnessing the awesome power of the internet. Formulating strategies, helping build brands and seeing clients thrive are my primary motivators. The professional and technical development of Honeystone underpins this and I am extremely proud to work with a team who share my vision of how we can make the internet a better place for all users. Badminton, cycling, entertaining and live music are some of my other passions.