User stories vs. user personas

24 Feb 2008 - 11:15pm
6 years ago
7 replies
1809 reads
oliver green
2006

Hi All,

From what I understand it seems like user stories are a subset of user personas - how do they differ? when is one more appropriate to use than the other?

Thanks,
Oliver

Comments

25 Feb 2008 - 7:00am
John Wood
2005

Hi Oliver,
when you say user stories, do you mean:

a) Scenarios - narratives that describe some user doing something in
the system.
b) User stories - a means of writing software requirements often used
in Extreme programming and other software engineering methods.

They are quite different things, and I presume you mean (a) rather
than (b).

John

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25 Feb 2008 - 1:07pm
oliver green
2006

Hi John,

I meant (b) "b) User stories - a means of writing software
requirements often used in Extreme programming and other software
engineering methods."

It is being used for gathering user needs.

Thanks,
Oliver

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25 Feb 2008 - 1:34pm
dmitryn
2004

Oliver,

User stories and personas are not mutually exclusive. A persona
embodies high-level information about a user type/role/segment, while
a user story represents a specific requirement/task formulated from a
user's perspective.

Both can be used to as a means of feeding information obtained through
user research into the design process. There is no reason why the two
can't be used together, since they operate at different levels of
granularity and specificity.

Dmitry

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 8:15 PM, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> >From what I understand it seems like user stories are a subset of user
> personas - how do they differ? when is one more appropriate to use than the
> other?
>
> Thanks,
> Oliver
> ________________________________________________________________
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26 Feb 2008 - 5:33am
Manish Govind P...
2006

Hi Oliver,

I find this easy to define as:

The persona: A close representative of the user
The User Story: What the persona would do to complete
a specific task

In that I definitely find them related. If the persona
is defined from a good user research done ahead, doing
the user stories ( using those persona ) would
definitely help predict the usage of the application
better.Ideally, at least.

well, I guess I'm just repeating what Dmitry said
earlier.

Manish Pillewar
Thought-Designer :-)
www.thoughtworks.com

Oliver,

User stories and personas are not mutually exclusive.
A persona
embodies high-level information about a user
type/role/segment, while
a user story represents a specific requirement/task
formulated from a
user's perspective.

Both can be used to as a means of feeding information
obtained through
user research into the design process. There is no
reason why the two
can't be used together, since they operate at
different levels of
granularity and specificity.

Dmitry

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 8:15 PM, oliver green
<oliverhci at gmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi All,

-----Snipped-----

Thanks and Regards
Manish Govind Pillewar
Sr. User Experience Designer
Thoughtworks India Pvt. Ltd.Bangalore-India

Tel. +91 9880566951 (M)
+91 80 41113967 (Eve.)
Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface :-)

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26 Feb 2008 - 7:00am
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

Hi Oliver,

Manish Pillewar kirjoitti 26.2.2008 kello 12:33:
> The persona: A close representative of the user

Indeed. Here's how I've been taught to use them:

A persona describes CURRENT behavior, with the CURRENT product or
service or its nearest equivalent. Understanding and accepting how
things are is essential to make rational judgments about how things
should be. A persona is an excellent tool (among others) for this
purpose.

The persona also describes human motivations, beliefs, desires and
goals (etc.), which bring insight into why people behave like they do.
This part is hard to explain (= easy to misunderstand) through an
email, but About Face 3, pages 88 to 97, gives you more information.

> The User Story: What the persona would do to complete
> a specific task

Stories or scenarios describe how people are expected to behave in the
FUTURE, with the NEW product or service. Also great tool interaction
design and engineering.

How to use these tools together?

When you've finished with a user story, compare it to the persona's
current behavior, motivations, beliefs, desires and goals. Does the
story describe a solution that improves the current situation and is
compatible with human goals as described in the persona?

Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
palvelumuotoilija /
Senior Interaction Designer
iXDesign / +358505050123 /
petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated."
- Tim Peters

3 Mar 2008 - 10:45am
Anonymous

Personas are psycho-social profiles of users. User stories are
reflections of actual tasks that the persona would want to accomplish.
So users stories can be thought of as refinements of the persona. User
stories have details like acceptance tests that are associated with
them, a priority etc.

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 8:15 PM, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> >From what I understand it seems like user stories are a subset of
user
> personas - how do they differ? when is one more appropriate to use
than the
> other?
>
> Thanks,
> Oliver
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

3 Mar 2008 - 10:32pm
Anonymous

I would say that user stories are created tounderstand how much time it takes to develop the stories or the tasks. They arecreated by clients or the development team and contain a short description ofwhat the system or the product should do. The list of user stories collectedwill be used for development planning purposes like what stories/features inter-dependentand what stories should be developed first, what would be the ideal developmenttime and whether it is a low/medium or high priority feature.

On the other hand while personas are also used for documenting the end-userneeds, they are used as a motivating tool for the designer and to communicatethe end-user needs to clients and the development team who are involved in theproject and help them understand the emotions and goals of the users. Personasare created by user researchers or designers and it details the goals of theusers, their work environment and the tasks that they do to achieve the goal.

So, personas are appropriate to use at the end of the research phase tocommunicate end user goals and user stories should be used during developmentplanning to understand how many iterations it would take and what storiesshould be developed in each iteration.

- Suba Periyasami

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