Why we write user stories
When you are writing information for the website, you should always consider your audience and how they will use it. If you understand your users and create content to meet their needs, they will be more likely to get the right outcome from visiting your web pages.
A user story is a common way of describing a user need. User stories help us focus our writing on what the user wants to achieve.
Well-written user stories also make it easier to write more helpful page titles and summaries which will help people find content in search engines.
Whenever we produce a new piece of content, we create a user story. It is a required step for any new content item in Typecase.
Writing user stories
Write a simple description of what someone needs, from their perspective, using the structure:
As… [the type of user/role]
I need/want… [the goal]
So I can… [the reason/benefit of the content]
The first part always describes the user, never the person creating the content.
The second part, the goal, is the most important one. It helps us make sure we're solving the right problem and deciding when the user need is met.
Detailed user stories
User stories work best when they are focused on a single, achievable need. You will usually create a detailed user story for a page in Typecase. Detailed user stories are:
- topic specific
As... a new student
I need... to find out how to reserve items in the Library
So I can... reserve my required reading list books
Epic user stories
To describe a user need for a larger section or a Topic page, we write an epic user story. This acts as an overall need, which can be broken into smaller, more focused user stories:
As... a new student
I need... to know what I have to do to start my studies
So I can... prepare for my course
Addressing multiple user needs
In most cases, a page should focus on a single user need to make sure the content doesn't branch off into other areas and become difficult to find. However, some pages can have more than one user need if those needs align, for example, where the information is appropriate for two groups of people, like staff and students.
In this case, use the most important user need at the top, and then use subheadings to address further, less important user needs.
A good example is the page Tuition fees. The most important user story for this page is:
As… a prospective student
I need… to know how much the tuition costs for my course
So I can… decide if I can afford to study at Bath
This is reflected in the page summary:
Home, EU, and Overseas fees for courses and placements, including extra costs and payment methods.
The subheadings on the page then focus on other, specific user needs, such as 'Undergraduate tuition fees' and 'Fees for University staff and alumni'.