Since you already know how to create top-notch user stories, let’s now pay attention to mapping them! Achieve maximum efficiency with user story maps and see your strategy from the bird’s-eye perspective.
This term was born in 2005. Since then it has been used in agile development throughout the world. User story mapping helps companies visualize their products to assess how users will perceive it. Unlike backlogs, user story maps allow product development teams to see the big picture from A to Z. Let’s define each term:
It is not obligatory yet very efficient in terms of creating top-notch products. Do you want users to enjoy your app or service? Then try story mapping, as it:
Preparation for user story mapping can take some time, still, this will save you plenty of resources later. Define levels others will see in your map. Usually, these levels are as follows:
Sticky notes, pens, papers, whiteboard. These tools are perfect for teams that are accustomed to offline communication and are usually based in one office.
If you’re tired of paperwork and love innovations, switch online. This way is the best for remote teams, as they can collaborate without face-to-face meetings. By the way, FlowMapp provides users with such a great opportunity.
How many people are needed for mapping? Ideally, it is a team of 6-7 persons. It should include tech lead, product owner or product manager and UX designer. The process normally takes no more than one business day if you want to plan a 1- or 2-month project. For more lengthy projects, more time is required for mapping. So, check the availability of all specialists involved in planning and mapping.
Brainstorm on what a real user would do with your product. What are their goals? What would they value the most?
Describe this with verbs. Try to catch all possible user activities. This way, you will create a set of tasks.
If your product will have different audiences, think of whether their interaction with your product will differ.
Keep in mind the classic formula of user stories:
As a (user), I want to (perform an action), so that (I get some benefits).
Sort tasks you have made up during the first step. Group them together and create the backbone of your user story map.
Discuss each task with your team. Does everyone agree with it? This is a negotiation part and you’ll have tons of dialogues at this stage.
Next, group tasks:
The longest part of mapping is creating steps. Brainstorm the smallest steps for each task. Place them below tasks.
Answers to the question “What should a user do to complete the task above?” will be your steps.
This part is mainly about steps, still, you might check if your goals and tasks are prioritized correctly.
Next, do the same with small steps. Move items from right to left if they are high-priority. Leave the least urgent things at the right.
Divide everything into several releases or sprints. Also, identify the borders for your minimum viable product. Simply draw the line between semantic elements. Estimate the work and deadlines together with the team.
Congrats! Your user story map is ready! Review it before getting to work and start your spring or release!
Flat backlogs are great for general planning, still, they won’t show you any gaps. At least, you need great expertise to identify them. Story maps make these almost imperceptible things visible. Also, they allow setting priorities from a high level and user's perspective.
In fact, Jeff Patton, the inventor of story maps, used them to discover requirements based on the UX point of view. And this works!
The method created by Jeff Patton has a list of benefits:
As you can see, user story mapping brings teams shared understanding of the entire customer journey. It is a versatile tool opening new horizons in product development.
Start with the preparatory phase stage and continue with our step-by-step manual. The only question left is… choosing the perfect tool for mapping.
Create a user story map with our User Flow Tool! Collaborate with all your team, add shapes, diagrams, connections, text blocks, images. What’s more, extend your map with personas and customer journey maps.
Make your online work even more convenient than offline mapping with sticky notes!
The most great fact is that mapping in FlowMapp doesn’t require extensive expertise. Try the app now for free! Make sure of its maximum efficiency and get things done!