Combining user onboarding and user stories can create a powerful tool for creating an effective onboarding process.
In this article, we will explore the process of creating effective onboarding user stories for onboarding in a step-by-step format, emphasizing the importance of understanding user needs and goals. We will also offer practical tips and examples to help readers implement this approach in their own onboarding process.
What Is a User Story?
A user story is a narrative that describes a feature or functionality from the perspective of the end user. It is a concise, simple description of what the user needs, why they need it, and how it will benefit them.
Onboarding user stories were originally introduced as a part of agile software development, but they have since become widely used in product management and UX design.
A user story typically follows a standard format that includes three components: the user role, the goal, and the reason. The user role refers to the persona or character who will use the feature or functionality being described.
The goal is the specific action that the user wants to perform or the problem they want to solve. The reason is the motivation behind the user's goal, which could be anything from convenience to efficiency to personal satisfaction.
For example, a user story for a ride-hailing app might look like this:
"As a frequent traveler, I want to be able to schedule a ride in advance so that I can avoid the stress of last-minute bookings."
In this example, the user role is a frequent traveler, the goal is to schedule a ride in advance, and the reason is to avoid the stress of last-minute bookings.
By framing the feature in this way, the development team can better understand the user's needs and motivations, which can inform the design and development process.
User stories are an essential part of agile development because they help prioritize the development backlog and keep the focus on the user's needs.
Instead of a list of features and functionalities, the development backlog is a list of onboarding user stories that have been prioritized based on the user's needs and goals.
This approach helps ensure that the development team is working on the most critical features and functionality first, which can increase the likelihood of user adoption and engagement.
User stories are also useful in UX design because they help designers understand the user's needs and goals. By creating user stories, designers can map out the user journey and identify pain points and areas of improvement.
Also, don’t forget to check out our article titled Social Proof in Customer Onboarding - Key Component for Guaranteed Results in which we explained the importance of social proof in onboarding.
How Do User Stories Help User Onboarding?
User stories help with user onboarding in several ways. Firstly, they provide a clear picture of what the user wants to accomplish and why, which helps designers and developers create products and services that meet the user's needs.
Secondly, onboarding user stories can help prioritize features and functionality during the onboarding process, ensuring that the most important aspects are addressed first.
Thirdly, user stories can help teams stay focused on the user's needs and goals throughout the entire onboarding process, making it more effective overall.
#1. Identify User Personas
The first step in creating user stories for onboarding is to identify your user personas. User personas are fictional characters that represent your target audience. They are based on real data and research about your users' needs, goals, and behaviors.
To create effective user personas, start by gathering data about your users through surveys, interviews, and user testing. Use this data to create fictional characters that represent your users. Your user personas should include information such as:
- Demographic information (age, gender, location, etc.)
- Job title and responsibilities
- Goals and objectives
- Pain points and challenges
- Behaviors and preferences
Creating user personas can help you understand your user's needs and goals better, which can help you create more effective user stories.
#2. Understand User Goals
Once you have identified your user personas, the next step is to understand their goals and objectives. User goals are the things your users want to achieve by using your product. They can range from simple tasks like logging in to more complex tasks like completing a project.
To identify user goals, you can conduct user interviews, surveys, or user testing. Ask your users what they want to achieve by using your product, and what tasks or features are essential to achieving their goals.
Understanding your user's goals can help you create onboarding user stories that focus on the most critical features and functionality of your product. It can also help you create a more personalized onboarding experience by tailoring your onboarding process to your user's goals.
#3. Follow the User Story Format
The next step in creating user stories for onboarding is to follow the user story format. The standard format for user stories includes:
- User role: This describes the user persona who will be performing the action.
- Goal: This describes what the user wants to achieve by using your product.
- Reason: This describes why the user wants to achieve this goal.
For example, a user story for a project management tool might be:
"As a project manager, I want to create a new project so that I can organize and track my team's progress."
Following the user story format can help you create clear and concise user stories that focus on the user's perspective. It can also help you prioritize features and functionality based on their importance to your users.
#4. Incorporate Realistic Scenarios
Finally, when creating user stories for onboarding, it's essential to incorporate realistic scenarios.
Realistic scenarios help ensure that your onboarding user stories are addressing real-world situations that your users may encounter.
Scenarios can help you identify potential pain points or areas of confusion and can help you create a more engaging and personalized onboarding experience.
To create realistic scenarios, consider the different stages of your onboarding process and the different tasks or features that your users will encounter. For example, you might create scenarios that describe:
- A user's first login to your product
- How a user would create a new project or task
- How a user would collaborate with team members on a project
Creating realistic scenarios can help you create user stories that are relevant and valuable to your users, which can help improve their onboarding experience.
#5. Test and Iterate
The final step in creating effective user stories for onboarding is to test and iterate. Testing and iterating are essential because they help you identify any issues or problems with the onboarding process and make necessary changes.
To test and iterate, start by creating a prototype of your onboarding process. Then, ask a group of users to test it out and provide feedback. Based on their feedback, make necessary changes to your onboarding user stories, and continue testing until you have a process that is effective and user-friendly.
Creating effective user stories for onboarding is a crucial step in ensuring that your product or service is successful. User stories help you gain a deep understanding of your target audience's needs, goals, and pain points.
By incorporating this information into your onboarding process, you can create a user-friendly experience that meets their expectations.
The process of creating effective onboarding user stories involves identifying your user personas, understanding their goals, following the standard user story format, incorporating realistic scenarios, and testing and iterating.
These steps help you create an onboarding process that is relevant and meaningful to your target audience, providing them with a seamless and enjoyable experience.
It's worth noting that the user onboarding process is not a one-time event. Instead, it should be an ongoing process that evolves as your product or service grows and changes.
Continuously testing and iterating your onboarding process based on user feedback and changing market conditions is key to ensuring that it remains effective and meets your users' needs.
In conclusion, creating effective user stories for onboarding is a process that requires time, effort, and attention to detail.
By putting in the work to understand your users' needs and goals and following the steps outlined in this article, you can create an onboarding process that sets your product or service up for success.
With a well-designed onboarding process in place, you can increase user engagement, retention, and ultimately, drive business growth.
You can also check out our article titled Onboarding UX Writing - 10 microcopy examples from top onboarding flows to learn how to create the most effective microcopies!