User scenarios are the tasks your user personas may undertake. They allow you to test your site structure and layout before it is fully developed. This helps you to isolate any issues which may arise before they become problems.
They should at the very least outline:
- Who – the user persona will help with this, different personas can approach the same tasks differently
- What – the context of the user, are they running late for a lunch meeting?
- When – is it day time, are they busy?
- Why – why are they using the app, is it to find a local restaurant?
- How – this is how they will use the app to complete the task
You also want to include the user’s goals, expectations, motivations, actions and reactions when using the app and completing the task. Scenarios can also be broken down into steps and they may perform more than one task to complete the one scenario.
For example, Julie is at the airport and wants to grab something to eat before she boards her flight. She has one hour but doesn’t know where some nearby food is and doesn’t want to carry her heavy bag all over the airport. So she downloads the airport app. She searches the types of food places they have. Then she needs to search in the apps’ maps where that is. She realises it is too far away to walk so she then goes back and searches again. Then she finds it on the map and it is nearby.
This is an example of multiple tasks done in the one scenario with several steps, Julie wasn’t just looking for food nearby, she also needed a map to guide her there.
You can find some of my user scenarios that I have done for my most recent project MyPawPal here:
Today’s Quick Tips
- User scenarios help isolate issues before they become serious problems
- It helps you to see if your app flows well and isn’t too messy or difficult to use
- They can be broken into several tasks and steps
- It is an important part of app design to test usability