User story

Post date: Jun 02, 2010 5:48:31 PM

A user story is a software system requirement formulated as one or more sentences in the everyday or business language of the user. User stories are used with Agile software development methodologies for the specification of requirements (together with acceptance tests). Each user story is limited, so it fits on a small paper note card—usually a 3×5 inches card—to ensure that it does not grow too large. The user stories should be written by the customers for a software project and are their main instrument to influence the development of the software.

User stories and use cases

While user stories, use cases and usage scenarios all serve the purpose to capture specific user requirements in terms of interactions between the user and the system, there are major differences between them.

User Stories

    • Provide a small-scale and easy-to-use presentation of information. Are generally formulated in the everyday language of the user and contain little detail, thus remaining open to interpretation. They should help the reader understand what it is the software should accomplish.

    • Must be accompanied by Acceptance Testing procedures for clarification of behavior where stories appear ambiguous.

Use Cases

    • Describe a process and its steps in detail, and may be worded in terms of a formal model. A use case is intended to provide sufficient detail for it to be understood on its own. A use case has been described as “a generalized description of a set of interactions between the system and one or more actors, where an actor is either a user or another system”.

    • May be delivered in a stand-alone document

Requirements 101: User Stories vs. Use Cases

Six Features of a Good User Story - INVEST Model

Introduction to User Stories