Saturday, March 13, 2010

User Story Scenes in a Comic Strip Format

It is hard to pack a message in three frames. But if you can, it will be great. Let me know what you think. This is a hypothetical use case where the IT department of a company is monitoring the tweets of a new hire on her first day and proactively supporting her.
Note: I made up this fictitious scene above. It is not from any specific project.
I tried this approach to create a 8 scene story. I was not sure how my colleagues at SAP will react to this approach. After the first discussion, to my surprise, we eliminated most of the PowerPoint slides with text and decided to use this story to convey our ideas and research to our team.
We requested a a colleague who neither wrote the story nor drew the pictures to narrate the story. She was able to narrate the story without any difficulty. I am confident that this approach is paying off.
Presenting to Colleagues
We presented a complete story with 8 scenes to our colleagues. We used one PowerPoint slide (which did not look like a PowerPoint slide) for every scene. The presentation was received very well. When we presented it to senior executives, they were able to jump into the story and discuss key aspects right away without worrying about the format. With a single glance, people were able to connect to the content of the story.
Construction of a Scene in a PowerPoint slide
1. Name of the story
2. Name of the Scene: This should be self explanatory.
3. The Comic Strip with two or three frames.
4. A short 2-3 line description of the scene with the design concepts highlighted.
5. A foot note with the design concepts and technical concepts covered in the scene. This is for the reference of the presented and to handle question and objections during the presentation.
It takes a day to create a user story, if you have the story written down already.
The next step is to take approach to customers. More on that later.

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