Scenarios

In the beginning of design process we build user understanding, and use personas to define who our users are. Next step is to answer the question why they use our product. Here is where scenarios appear.

Scenarios are hypothetical stories that work together with personas. They describe the context behind why the particular persona would use our product or come to our website. 

scenario

Scenarios give insight into the user’s motivations and goals while using a system, and once we know their expectations, it becomes easier to make users satisfied.

How to use scenarios

Use scenarios during design to ensure that all participants understand and agree to the design parameters, and to specify exactly what interactions the system must support. Translate scenarios into tasks for conducting walk-through activities and usability tests.

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One thought on “Scenarios

  1. Yes! Once we understand WHO is using the system (personas) we need to understand WHY they are using it. And that’s scenarios. As you wrote:

    “Scenarios are hypothetical stories that work together with personas. They describe the context behind why the particular persona would use our product”

    A scenario is a brief statement (such as a short paragraph) that describes why a persona is using the system and what they need to do. For an office system like LibreOffice, the scenario might be something like this:

    “Erica (a university student) needs to write her first paper for her class. On recommendation from her friends, Erica has downloaded and installed LibreOffice on her computer, and she is using it for the first time. She needs to write a 3-page double-spaced paper with at least five references in ‘APA’ format.”

    That’s a fairly realistic scenario for LibreOffice. It explains why Erica is using LibreOffice and what she needs to do with it. (The above is modified from an online class I taught last year on usability testing.)

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