User Story Mapping
You have your vision for your product or service and you are collecting user stories to help you understand their needs. The next step is to create a user story map so you can understand these needs and share them with your team and stakeholders. One of the main aspects of the user story map is putting your user stories in order of priority, based on the user’s experience.
Why story mapping?
When we generate our product vision we list our users and their needs and the features that will meet those needs. From here we can see the value that’s going to be generated. But is this enough? Laying the right groundwork is important and before we go any further we should delve deeper into who our users are and how we can better meet their needs. This requires communication between developers, project managers, designers and analysts.
Story mapping means creating a grid or board that lays out user stories and shows us their experiences of our product. Under each feature of our product will be a user story, showing us how each story relates to each feature.
Take a journey
With your initial story map in place you now need to find a way to go on a journey with your users. It’s not enough to simply list features and stories that relate only to that feature, you need to know how your users are moving through your product or service. This means creating a board that shows you this movement. If you start your map with ‘product search’ below this you might have a list of filters like price, colour, size, which show you how your user travelled. Moving to the right of your board your next card could be ‘product page’ and below that filters like description, reviews, images, and then on to ‘checkout’. This takes you on the same journey your users go on, with your story map laid out exactly the same as the journey of your users.
Your story map should be a part of a much wider conversation you are having with team members and stakeholders. Your story map allows you to visually represent ideas and record results. Your story map will begin to prove or disprove the assumptions you made about what your users’ needs would be. This means you should see your story map as a work in progress. It will change as this journey continues and as you collect more stories. Your story map will develop according to the stories and results you accumulate
User story mapping is a visual representation of your users’ journey through your product, it allows you to see through their eyes and to experience what they experience. This, in turn, gives you the power to make necessary changes and to understand how your product is perceived. This is all done in a way that allows us to create meaningful releases and drive sour users to complete end to end journeys.