User Story Mapping

MVP (Most Viable Product) plays an important role in Agile Development. It allows you to validate all your assumptions about your product and get it in front of customer. Hence setting a MVP provides a chance to test your hypothesis and learning experience for building the right product.

Story Mapping helps in finding the path to the MVP by visualizing user experience to understand user needs. Story Mapping tries to bring user personas to tell stories that are meaningful and communicate at the level customers can relate to. This is very powerful took because it brings life to the stories that you are working and if you cannot communicate on personal level to your users, your product won’t be able to connect with the real user. Story mapping also discover missing pieces because during story mapping session, you are actually putting user shoes and going through user experiences which allows us to find disconnects and hindrances user would experience. Story Mapping enables us to be more User Centered Thinking. Context Matters because it helps to identify why you are doing the things. Story Mapping helps in bringing that context to the User Stories. Story Mapping helps in identifying cross cutting concerns to deliver product.

For story mapping, you start with simple user goal you want to user to achieve and what are the tasks user need to perform to achieve that goal. User tasks can be broken down into user stories.

Story Map Structure

Goals –> Tasks –> Stories

Let’s walk through an example of a user who wants to add notes to an note-taking application we are building. Here goal of a user is to be able to write and save notes in most efficient way. It’s important that you have a persona for the target user. In this case, let’s assume that user is a tech savvy who just wants to put an ad-hoc note in quickest way.

To achieve this goal, there can be various tasks involved, user would have to

  • “Click on Create Note”
  • “Start Typing Notes”
  • “Save Note”

These three would be the user tasks user would need to work on to achieve his goal of saving his note. There might be various variations on tasks to achieve this Goal, but as a MVP, you would select the tasks that are in critical path to achieve this goal as part of MVP. More details can be added later as required.

Once we have the user tasks identified, we convert these tasks to actual stories enrich with tests and acceptance criteria. One of most valuable tips, I have received from story mapping process is “Mile wide, Inch Deep”. Don’t get bogged down with nitty gritty details but focus on the actual user process this helps in identify missing pieces from the equation.


  • DevJam Training, Story Mapping