Building Scenarios

Scenarios are representations of how a user interacts with a system. They provide directed visualizations of user’s paths, generally the path of a user completing a specific task from start to finish. Essentially, scenarios capture how users will behave with the site. This approach is user-centered — accounting for user goals and needs, rather than solely focusing design on business and technical requirements. By highlighting goals, scenarios are also frequently reveal gaps that need to be filled in the flow. Thus, scenarios clarify user goals and effectively communicate them to stakeholders.

Steps to Building Out Scenarios:

  1. Identify all users (consider using personas)
  2. Determine user’s goal
  3. Model user flow to accomplish goal
  4. Validate scenario

Best Practices:

– Use personas and research to anticipate user’s interaction with system

– Always accommodate user goals from start to finish

– Consider all potential users

– Prioritize scenarios

– Create a separate scenario for each user and goal

– User flow drives scenario (not flow of data, back-end-processes etc)

– Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘how’

– Clearly label all users and flows

– Validate scenarios with stakeholders

iRise Specific Tips:

– Either house scenarios in a scenario folder or at the top of each content/functional grouping of pages that the scenario outlines

– Use clouds to represent processes external to the system

– Use a decision icon to represent a decision

– Label decision using a question

– Represent a process within scenario using the scenario icon

– Only use multiple start icons on one scenario page to represent different users

– Consider color coding to differentiate users

– If different processes, use separate page

Scenario Symbols:

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