From the category archives:

User scenarios

Recently I developed a set of user journeys (scenarios) for the design of a new government service. I have just been to a workshop where we did something very interesting – identifying risks to the user and to the service by walking through the user journeys. We did it very informally, simply sticking red sticky […]

One thing you want to do with your scenarios is to check that they’re representative of what users will want to do and how they behave. Scenarios well-grounded in contextual data collected directly from users is therefore critical.

A good set of scenarios should cover a range of user needs and situations. Data from user research ought to uncover a whole host of contexts of use. Identifying the salient points of each of these scenarios will help you come up with a small, managable but representative scenarios for driving design.

Scenarios are stories that describe users’ tasks and their needs. They have people in a setting, who have goals and desires. They have plots and objects with which users interact. They highlight users’ concerns and frustrations. Ask yourself: are my scenarios believable? That’s the acid test that others will judge them by.

You’ve done great user research, understood your customer base, and modeled their key needs in personas. How do you start designing? A common problem in design is the complexity facing teams and how to face the issue of getting started. It’s all too easy to dive into screen design and then code the software.