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User Story Maps Can Help Make You, Your Team, and Customers Happier



User Story Maps Can Help Make You, Your Team, and Customers Happier

Your team has a backlog of features to implement, and you’re the product owner. The issue is that your team is overworked, and no one knows where to begin or how to prioritize duties.

This is where a user story map template might be beneficial!

What is User Story Mapping and How Does it Work?

A user story map visually represents a user’s journey through a product. It aids product teams in better understanding customers, identifying journey friction points, and prioritizing what would improve the user experience.

It allows you to organize user stories into a usable model for understanding a system’s functionality, finding holes and omissions in your backlog, and planning holistic releases that value users.

A user story is a brief and straightforward description of a feature from the end user’s point of view. “As a user, I can add products to my wish list that I’m not ready to buy yet,” for example.

It forces product teams to design with the end user in mind. A user narrative map goes one step further by displaying a user’s stages to completing a task.

How a User Story Map is Useful

All of the activities in the user-story map are captured as short words that represent an actual user task. As a result, the first part of the user-story structure discusses what the user wants to do with the product.


In the second half of the talk, the story is expanded to incorporate the important benefits. But, again, it is focused on the user and their wants; this mapping style is known as user story mapping. Consider every detail from the user’s perspective.

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Later, the team expands on this simple sentence to create specific user stories discussed, with acceptance criteria added and then added to the product/sprint backlog for completion during each sprint as needed.

As we can see, the goal of user stories is to start a conversation about how to solve user problems from the perspective of the consumer who will be using the product.

How Do You Make A User Story Map?

Here are the steps to follow to make a user story map:

Create The Framework

You’ll want to reduce the plot’s scope before you start planning it out. If you don’t, you’ll rapidly become overwhelmed and unable to begin. 

So here are some questions to think about:

  • What issues are we attempting to resolve?
  • How does this feature contribute to the overall value of the product?
  • Who is the target audience segment or customer persona for which we are creating? (If applicable)

Make A Diagram Of The Story’s Activities And Steps

Create a general roadmap for how the user will access and use this feature in this step. Those are your primary pursuits.

This section aims to explain the significant steps that must be taken to move from point A to point B. The steps are then laid out in front of you. So let’s take a look at them.

  • Enter a search term in the search bar and go to the results page
  • Look through the search results for specific information
  • Use the pricing filtering tool to limit your alternatives
  • Re-examine the search results page with the new options
  • Choose an item and add it to your cart
  • Complete the transaction
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As you can see, story mapping necessitates a transition from macro to micro. You’ll most likely plan out these elements with the help of your participants.

Tasks Should Be Grouped And Defined

This is where the cooperation begins after you’ve mapped out the significant details. Again, you should emphasize the important steps involved in each activity under each stage.


You can rank features by priority by including must-have, could-have, and should-have options on your map. Here’s what you should think about!

  • Are there smaller tasks your end user could perform in the middle of one of these tasks?
  • Is there anything that could hinder their progress at this point? For example, what are the chances that they’ll get stranded somewhere?
  • Is there any other way for the user to go around this page?

This will necessitate a joint effort from your various teams to determine what is reasonable and achievable.

Key Takeaways

  • As teams and clients better understand the technology and the project progresses, requirements will alter. 
  • Expect the project teams to plan for a static requirements list and then deliver working software months later. 
  • Consider constructing a user story map template if your product team can’t decide where to start on a new or current project. It might take some time away from the construction process, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

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Google, NBCUniversal duking it out to be Netflix adtech provider



Netflix is playing catch-up in the AVOD game

Ads are coming to Netflix, and Google and NBCUniversal are fighting for the lucrative right to provide them.

Why it’s happening. Until recently Netflix’s position as the dominant streaming service allowed it grow revenue without advertising. A subscription price increase earlier this year led to a loss of about 200,000 subscribers. The first loss in more than a decade. Despite this, Netflix says its user base continues to grow. One explanation: Password sharing. That would explain why there are fewer subscribers but more viewers

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The company is now also facing serious challenges from other streaming providers. So, even though its revenue continues to grow, it is looking to bolster them with a lower-priced, ad-supported subscription option. Bringing in Google or NBCUniversal, could make this happen much faster, though it could still be a year or more before it becomes a reality. 

The case for NBCUniversal. It’s likely that a partnership with NBCUniversal would be exclusive. Their ad unit, FreeWheel, would provide the necessary technology to deliver the ads. The NBCUniversal sales team would help to sell the ads across Europe and the US. 

The case for Google. Google brings its own ad platform, which Netflix is currently a customer of. An agreement with Google could mean an exclusive arrangement, but it hasn’t been confirmed. 

Both competitors are currently working with other large brands. A potential deal with Netflix could mean sharing access to its tech partners and audiences. NBCUniversal is the exclusive reseller of ads for Apple News and Apple Stocks since 2017 and has recently expanded into the UK. Google had been providing ad service to the Walt Disney Co. (a previous FreeWheel customer and current Netflix competitor) since 2018.

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What Netflix is saying. Netflix hasn’t provided any details of its plans, how many ads will run, ad targeting, or reach. 

Read the announcement. You can read the article from the Wall Street Journal here.

Why we care. From outside, Netflix’s subscription price increase, the fourth since 2018, seems an odd choice. It was announced at the end of January when inflation was already a growing concern for consumers. Also, viewers were already complaining about decreasing quality in new content while old favorites were no longer available. People are cutting spending and may turn to one of the emerging high-quality, lower-cost competitors.

Those competitors are also either ad-free or offer an ad-free version at a low cost. So an ad-supported Netflix tier may not be all that appealing. It’s rash to second guess a company as successful as Netflix, but this doesn’t seem to be a well-thought-out plan.


Read next: Why we care about adtech: The complete guide

About The Author

Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.


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