BSPOKE Software | Digital Transformation Partners

Software development: 5 tips for writing a good user story

To find success in any software development project, writing a good user story is one of the first places to start. A user story is a way to ensure that your product will be useful to your customers and relates to them how you intend. 

At BSPOKE Software, we will work with you to gain a better understanding of the requirements of your project and what your users and customers expect. Let’s take a look at five of the top ways to ensure your user story will result in a successful software development project. 

1) Identify who your user is

The first key thing to consider is understanding who exactly will benefit from your project. You need to specify exactly what the user expects and the type of customer you are trying to attract.  This could be businesses within a certain industry or users of a specific age. The more detail you can share about your user, the more likely you’ll be able to write a user story to meet their needs. 

When writing about your user, we encourage you to undertake market research to further understand their requirements. If you aren’t sure what your user expects, how can you ever expect to meet their needs in the future?  The more feedback and information you can gather from potential consumers, the more likely you’ll have a successful launch and will be able to offer your consumers everything they need from a new piece of software. 

2) Get your whole development team involved

While a couple of people may help with writing the user story, it’s something you need to share with the entire development team. Keep this in mind, as you need it to be concise and clear to share with others.  The more information your development team can get about the work, the easier it will be to meet your goals. User stories are a good way for development teams to track their progress.  

They’ll be able to ensure they are staying on track with your goals. By aligning their actions to the user story, they’ll be able to plan better for each sprint or task they are working on. Leaders within your organisation will also have a better idea of what their team needs to do.  Within any methodology, the user story will help to be a guiding light that pushes you towards successfully completing your project. 

3) Don’t get too caught up in the details

When writing a user story, it can be tempting to get carried away with your writing. Instead, you need your story to be as concise as possible. If you’ve got into the bad habit of rushing this piece of work, it’s time to dedicate more effort to this task.  

You certainly don’t need to be a professional writer to craft a compelling user story. However, you do need to be willing to undertake the research and put in extra effort to find success. We recommend using a very simple template. Focus on offering value to the user and what feature you can add or remove to offer these results.  

Every part of your software development project should aim to add value to your user’s life. The effort that you put into creating this value will easily pay off when you focus on the end-user. Try to keep each user story to roughly three lines long.  Focus on who the user is, what they want to do, and then what the end result should be. This idea will help you to craft user stories for any project you are working on. 

4) Make sure your user story is testable

There’s absolutely no point learning about writing user stories if you can’t test out the story you’ve written. In fact, that should be one of the top aims for writing a user story. You need to be able to test your user story at the end of the project development round so that you know if you’ve succeeded in your work. It will become a huge part of the QA process, so make sure you write it in that way. 

For that reason, write your user story in a way that everyone in your team can understand. Focus on creating a story that everyone will know they can test. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of writing a user story. You need to be able to effectively communicate this story to everyone in your team so that you are all aligned in working towards the same end goals. 

5 )Make your user story easy to share with your team

A good user story will follow the format we shared above. Try to keep it to three lines, and don’t get carried away. Depending on the software development methodology you use, you’ll likely write many user stories.  

For each one, keep it to this length so that you have a clear focus for the project. The more you write user stories, the more you’ll enjoy this process. Don’t overthink it, as it needs to be easy to read and understand. The less carried away you get, the more effective it will be in the long run. 

Final Thoughts 

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to writing a user story for your custom software development project. For that reason, we recommend working with our team of professionals who can help with this task. We try to involve you as much as possible. This will ensure that we are all on the same page. It will help to align our goals and make sure your project is a success.  

Contact us today for more information about user stories and how we can help you to achieve your business goals this year. 

 

BSPOKE software - graphic showing female and hand writing a user story for a custom software development project

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