Using a Narrative Story in User Centered Design

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Part of the process of creating an easy to use application is sharing vision in a Narrative Story. This entails creating user empathy and explains what issue or pain point is going to be addressed by the software feature. These stories should use the  information collected by the same Contextual Inquiry process performed at customer visits that is also used to build personas. The persona should be the star of the Narrative Story, and should leverage persona details. The narrative story should be part fact, and part imagination. It should paint a picture around the value of the features that are required to create a most viable product. The narrative should cover an actual sequence of events. It should tell a story around the users pain and frustrations, and it should include day to day information. The story should flow in a narrative sequential way exploring a series of events. Then the narrative should tell how the product should resolve the issue or conflict that the persona experiences. A Narrative Story can follow a Story Spine like the following format: Persona name and role, responsibilities…. Primarily concerned with … (Cadence).. and list of repetitive, tedious or time consuming tasks that produces contrast in the users life. Painpoint/Frustration Painpoint/Frustration Painpoint/Frustration Persona really wants to… For (length of time) this has been Persona’s reality. Until one day, the persona was introduced to/found/adopted, etc… Which allowed the persona to…(high level summary) Ever since that day.. list improvements, delights. Benefit Benefit Benefit As a result Persona… conclude with how personas motivation/goal/pain point has been addressed. Include time/cost savings info (faster, more efficient, cheaper)… What used to take (time/cost reduction or avoidance) now takes (shorter time/cost). List how the persona feels now.. with the time/cost saved, the persona can….