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How To Do User Story Mapping | The Ultimate Guide | Build A Better Product

Welcome to EZtek’s Blog. Do you know that customer centric companies can be up to 60% more profitable compared to product focused ones?
In this article, we will review how user story mapping helps user-centric products to provide real value. Stay till the end to get our user story mapping templates. We are excited to share best practices and the hottest tech trends.

What are User Stories?

A user story is a statement that allows the development team to understand how a project brings value to the intended user.
This statement describes:

  • End user
  • Their goals with the product
  • How users interact with the product
  • Description of the main features from the user’s perspective.

What is User Story Mapping?

User Story mapping is the process of creating and visually depicting a user story. There are four levels in the user story map:
  • User
  • User’s activities
  • User’s tasks and
  • Product’s features: described from the user’s perspective.
Here’s the structure of the map that you need to have before starting to build your product. Each activity has tasks, they are accomplished with the features listed below each corresponding task.

For example, to do task A, the user needs to have features A1 and A2. In turn, to complete activity A, they need to be able to achieve both task A and task B

What is User Story Mapping?

User Story mapping is the process of creating and visually depicting a user story. There are four levels in the user story map:
  • User
  • User’s activities
  • User’s tasks and
  • Product’s features: described from the user’s perspective.
Here’s the structure of the map that you need to have before starting to build your product. Each activity has tasks, they are accomplished with the features listed below each corresponding task.

For example, to do task A, the user needs to have features A1 and A2. In turn, to complete activity A, they need to be able to achieve both task A and task B
Indeed, user story mapping increases the chances of developing a product with relevant and helpful features.

Benefits of User Story Mapping

  • Everyone is on the same page.
    This information might help the team to identify the features that are the most useful for the user.
  • Effective prioritization of your work.
    Through visualizing the whole functionality that needs to be delivered, you prioritize meaningful bits on top and place less important parts for later releases.
  • You keep focus on the product value.
    By knowing how the user will interact and benefit from the future product, you can ensure that the requirements and tasks you develop are consistent with that.
  • Encouraging alignment among teams.
    User story mapping helps retain focus on the user’s perspective while constantly reminding the team of what the main priorities are. Thus, fostering team coherence.
  • Increased user satisfaction.
    User mapping contributes to quicker user onboarding and higher overall user satisfaction since only the most valuable features are delivered in the first release, capturing users attention.

How to create a User Story Map step by step?

#1 Begin with User Research
At EZtek, we sit down with our team and discuss what we know and what needs to be researched more, try to dig deeper into data and find out what users prefer.

#2 Outline the User’s Needs
Start defining the needs of the user by writing down the most important goals they might need to accomplish with your product. Don’t forget to add critical activities related to account creation, management, deletion, etc.

#3 Break down the Activities into Tasks
Also, describe them from the user’s perspective.

#4 Prioritize, Divide and Split
Sort everything out, choose activities and tasks that are the most important for the user and create categories for the tasks.

#5 Update your Map
The trick is that you should never think of it as something that shouldn’t be changed. If you find something that will make it more relevant for the user, update the map.

User Story Map Template

If you need a user story map template to use, feel free to steal these examples. All these templates are created for a keyword research tool, just to give you an example.

Template #1

This user story map template is pretty much a classic style map with four levels:
  • User
  • User activities
  • User tasks
  • Features
You can start creating this map by using good old sticky notes while discussing the project with your team. The final version needs to be saved in an electronic format.

Pros of template #1

Gives a complete overview of the user story, is detailed and can be expanded at any time.

Template #2

This one has a different format and is more simplified. So, it works better for the initial stage of the planning.

Pros of template #2

Works best for involving everyone in the brainstorming about the user story at the beginning of the journey, including several intended users.

Try to avoid these common User Story Mapping mistakes:

  • Poor user research
  • Creating a user story that’s too vague
  • Failing to engage the team in the user story writing process
  • Too technical or vague acceptance criteria
This article was prepared by EZtek. We at EZtek provide Software development, UI/ UX design and IT consulting services.
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