Scenarios are the engine we use to drive our designs. A scenario tells us WHY our users need our design, WHAT the users need the design to do, and HOW they need our design to do it. A great set of scenarios captures the essence of the design we’re creating.
Compared to long-winded and impossible-to-read functional requirement specifications, when done well, scenarios are bite-sized adventures of our users. They put the design into context, giving us a tool to identify the critical functionality while they help us to decide quickly what can wait for a future release. They tell us what language to use and what the flow of the screens should be. They help us expand on what our products and services are all about.
Because scenarios are stories, they come to life for the team. They exploit a human desire: to tell and to hear stories. Armed with well-thought-through scenarios, your team will be ready to produce innovative designs that will put a ding in the universe.
How will designing with scenarios make you a hero?
- A team at a medical device manufacturer looks at their recently compiled scenarios and suddenly sees several new markets they could easily move into—markets currently ignored by their competitors.
- At an e-commerce retailer, simple scenarios revealed how their site’s registration process was a huge barrier. Within weeks, the team saw a 33% increase in sales and a significant decrease in abandoned shopping carts.
- Another medical device company re-crafted their design process to include scenarios. The new approach cut their overall product development time in half, while dramatically increasing cross-team collaboration.
We’ve seen these stories dozens of times. Learn how scenarios can have this type of affect within your organization
See what makes scenarios uniquely powerful as design tools
- Use scenarios to bring your design's key points to life
- Make scenarios fit with your process and other tools
Create great scenarios to help you imagine ideal design solutions
- Tell a great story by including all four elements of a scenario
- Use storytelling and conversations to develop scenarios
Distill clear requirements from scenarios
- Generate functional needs using scenarios
- Filter proposed requirements using persona goals—focus your effort on what will bring the most reward
Sketch and iterate from scenarios
- Create an interaction framework, not a complete wireframe to save time and money
- Translate needs into functional elements to develop effective solutions