Have you identified an improvement you need to make to your product to meet your customer’s needs? If you don’t know how to get started, it’s time to take a look at user story mapping.
Keeping the user delighted should be the north of your compass at all times. That’s why it’s a good idea to use story mapping as a kind of timeline that will tell you which step to take next.
Now you will know exactly what the visitor has done at each stage of the process to detect failures or possible improvements you should implement.
So, are you ready to turn your website around and take your business to the next level? Stick around and find out:
Table of Content
- What is user story mapping?
- What is user story mapping for?
- Who created user story mapping?
- 5 Benefits of user story mapping
- Usefulness of user story mapping in business
- 7 Steps to creating a user story map
- What do I do after story mapping?
What is user story mapping?
User story mapping is a description of one of the product features according to the point of view of the customer who will use this new service line.
To understand it better, you can take a look at the following example: imagine you’re logged into your e-mail and you’re looking through your inbox for the message you need for work.
With story mapping it’s possible to develop an upgrade so that through a keyword you can find the email you need without having to search through the whole main panel.
The user shows you what product improvements they want and you develop it together with your team. This way you’ll have happy customers because you’ll offer services tailored to their needs.
What is user story mapping for?
The purpose of story mapping is to make the product creation process much easier and to emphasise those areas that need more attention.
In fact, it’s called user story mapping because it creates a kind of roadmap to get an overview of the whole project. This way you see how the story fits into each product.
All this makes it easier to spot problems and gaps before it’s too late. Now you will optimise all your resources to focus on the customer experience.
Who created user story mapping?
You may well think that story mapping has been around for many years, but the truth is quite the opposite. It was only in 2005 that the term was first mentioned in an article published by Jeff Patton called “It’s all in how you slice“.
However, it took three years for the concept to be read again. In 2008 the same author wrote another article called “The New User Story Backlog is a Map” and then turned it into a book where he explained everything about the term.
So, do you have doubts about how the user story map works? Don’t worry, many are in the same situation as it is a topic that has only been around for a short time.
5 Benefits of user story mapping
There are many benefits of user story mapping. Some of them are:
1. It details the story of what your platform solves.
There’s no doubt that this is the main benefit of story mapping.
With it you will know what is the story you are trying to solve with the business thanks to the study you did of the user behaviour. Let’s say that you will have a clear picture of what the customer thinks when he’s facing that obstacle that bothers him so much.
Now you will have the solution to the problem and you will earn money for it. It doesn’t get any better than that.
2. You see the big picture
It’s so important to visualise the big picture when facing problem. With story mapping you will know where the bottlenecks are and what problems you need to solve to improve the customer experience.
In other words, it will be like working with a map on your desk that shows you the whole route you need to follow to get to the goal. Now with this tool you will have it, so make the most of it.
3. You analyse where the user fits with the product.
One of the reasons why you’ll love story mapping is because it shows you how happy the user is with the product. In fact, it not only shows you that, but the changes you need to make to improve their user experience.
How will you see it? Through graphs and studies that will tell you in detail everything you need to do to optimise the product creation process.
4. You avoid creating something that doesn’t work
Can you imagine spending tons of money on an improvement or upgrade that won’t be used by the customer? Well, story mapping prevents this from happening, so protect your assets at all times.
The tool will show you which phases to optimise and which ones to leave intact to keep the user happy. In other words, it behaves like a kind of X-ray that shows you what is inside the customer.
5. You detect gaps early
It’s so important to detect problems in the product before it’s too late. The good news is that with story mapping you will be able to decipher those gaps that are affecting the customer’s user experience.
The amount of money you will save is impressive, as most businesses detect the problem right when the user has the product in their hands, which slows down the whole improvement process.
Go ahead and run story mapping and decipher the weaknesses in your service.
Usefulness of user story mapping in business
User story mapping is one of the most useful tools for any entrepreneur who wants to be competitive today.
Take a look at what it has to offer below:
1. You can prioritise the work
There’s no denying that the main usefulness of story mapping is that it allows you to prioritise your work. Many times entrepreneurs spend their efforts on improving processes that mean nothing to the client.
Thus, with this methodology, you and your team will know exactly what you need to do to build customer loyalty. It will be like having a holistic view of the whole process, so it’s time for you to use it to find out.
2. It gives value to the user
It’s interesting to see all the interactions that the customer has with the product, as it allows you to detect what actions you should implement to optimise these interactions.
It’s not only about numbers, every statistic and graph should be interpreted in the best possible way to offer a valuable service to the customer.
3. It highlights the challenges
You know one of the problems with making product improvements? You often don’t know where you will find the problems, but with story mapping you will forget about this situation.
It’s time to stop working with a blindfold on. With this tool you will know where the problem is that is troubling the user, so you will go straight to the root to provide a solution in the shortest possible time.
4. It ensures the unity of the whole organisation
Believe it or not, story mapping favours the unity of the work team, because to be successful they need to decipher the customer’s chronology with the product, something that is only possible if they spend time together.
This way, as a team, they will detect what they need to do to achieve the goal they set out to achieve.
5. It encourages continuous improvement
There’s no doubt that continuous improvement is one of the keys to success in the business world.
The stories are grouped by priority that will then be transformed into different interactions that will allow each of the stages of product creation.
7 Steps to creating a user story map
Are you ready to create your first user story map? Discover all the steps below:
Step 1: Know your customers
The most powerful question you can ask yourself at the start of the process is: Who is my product for? It’s true that audiences are becoming more and more segmented, but you must have a clear picture of who you want to target with your product.
Use market research and A/B testing to find out what that user needs so that you can offer them what they want.
Step 2: Identify the problem
If you’ve already identified the profile of your ideal customer, it’s time to identify the problem that is troubling them.
Only this way will you be able to create a valuable speech that mentions those little details that will convince them that you have the solution in your hands.
We recommend that you make several drafts according to the user niche so that you can adapt the message according to the stage the customer is in.
Step 3: Detect user activities
Activities are defined by the interactions the customer has when using or buying your service. The good news is that nowadays there are several digital tools that show you this in detail.
This information is essential to know which specific process you need to improve. For example, you can see everything the customer does when adding a product to the shopping cart. This will help you identify if any steps need to be eliminated or if you need to improve the user interface.
Step 4: Identify stories based on customer actions
Every interaction the customer has is marked in a history that allows you to study the entire chronology of the user in your business.
So, if we continue with the example of shopping carts, you realise that there is a high percentage of abandoned carts. So, with the history you will know where the real problem is and you can attack the issue more efficiently.
Step 5: Prioritise
OK, so you’ve got all the chronology and user interactions, now it’s time to focus resources on those histories that are of most relevance to the team.
Just as you read it, not all data needs to be taken into account. Get together with the organisation and do a proper prioritisation from most important to least important to identify the processes you need to pay attention to.
Step 6: Identify the obstacles
Once you have the map in hand you are likely to see problems and gaps that need to be addressed before it’s too late. This is the advantage of looking at the big picture, which gives you the possibility to spot gaps before you go to market.
Then, take the time to address these issues to increase your chances of success.
Step 7: Prepare the sprint
The sprint is the planning phase of the project and resembles the last sprint before the finish line.
Each team member is assigned a user story to solve the problems they identified. Then, everyone shows the progress and everything is assembled on one map.
What do I do after story mapping?
Finally, after doing the story mapping, you should perform the following steps to make sure that everything is going well:
1. Deployment of functions
Yes, you need to develop a framework in which you can address all the client’s needs. The most important thing is to define the team that will help you to give the attention the user deserves.
2. Prioritise the products
It’s important that you summarise all the products you currently have to define the level of priority of each one.
From here you will allocate the resources needed for each one. Remember that injecting time and money into a priority 1 product is not the same as injecting time and money into a priority 10 product.
The dashboard is like a site that shows you which worker is in charge of a certain activity and how much time they spend on this activity.
This will help you to manage the effort of each worker and you can assign new tasks to those who are less busy.
The truth is that user story mapping is a fundamental tool for positioning products that meet customer needs.
Nowadays nothing is set in stone, so it is essential to be aware of the improvements that need to be made to make the user happy.
And are you ready to execute user story mapping? We want to know where you stand on it.