What’s the Story?

A key to zeroing in on user-centered design during the ideation stage is to nail down the users’ stories. These stories should answer who the user is, what they hope to accomplish and why it matters to them.

When mapping out ideas for a trip planner website, I worked with these user stories in mind:

  • “As a busy professional I want to pull all of my travel plans together so I can access and organize them easily and efficiently.”
  • “As an inexperienced traveler I want to view other people’s travel suggestions so I can make the most of my first time visiting new destinations.”
  • “As a globetrotter I want to save all of my trips in one place so I can recommend them to others.”

I also analyzed what the user stories would be for those visiting my portfolio. This is valuable in creating an effective message and a purposeful user journey. These user stories are as follows:

  • “As a hiring manager I want to review a candidate’s professional history and past project artifacts so I can ensure that she is qualified for the current opening.”
  • “As a product owner I want to discover a designer’s aesthetic and thought process so I can visualize if it will align with my aspirations for the finished product.”
  • “As an agency owner I want to relate to a prospective employee’s personality and professional style so I can make certain that he or she is a good culture fit for the agency.”

With these user stories in mind, I am able to proceed with the design processes with consistent answers and purposes for the who, what, when, why and how of user-centered design.

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