Writing Quality User Stories

user story structure

What are User Stories?

User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the person who desires the new capability, usually a user or customer of the system. User stories are used to capture the requirements of a feature from an end-user perspective.

What is the User Story used for?

User stories are used to capture the requirements of a feature from an end-user perspective. They are used to help the development team understand the customer’s needs and to ensure that the feature meets the customer’s expectations.

User Story Structure

A user story should have the following structure:
As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason].

For example:
As a customer, I want to be able to purchase items online so that I can shop from the comfort of my own home.

INVEST criteria for writing User Stories

The INVEST criteria is a set of guidelines for writing user stories. The acronym stands for:

  • I – Independent: The user story should be self-contained and not depend on other user stories.
  • N – Negotiable: The user story should be open to discussion and negotiation.
  • V – Valuable: The user story should provide value to the customer.
  • E – Estimable: The user story should be able to be estimated in terms of effort and cost.
  • S – Small: The user story should be small enough to be completed in a single iteration.
  • T – Testable: The user story should be testable and have acceptance criteria.

Common Mistakes in User Stories

Some common mistakes in user stories include:

  • Not being specific enough: User stories should be specific and detailed enough to provide the development team with enough information to implement the feature.
  • Not being testable: User stories should have acceptance criteria that can be used to test the feature.
  • Not being independent: User stories should be self-contained and not depend on other user stories.
  • Not being negotiable: User stories should be open to discussion and negotiation.

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