User Story Examples

User stories are informal and general explanations of a software feature from the perspective of the end-user. The purpose of a user story is to articulate how a particular feature will provide value to the customer. In other words, how will they use the product to solve problems or address pain points in their life?

Most user stories are constructed in the following form: “As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason].” Other teams use the construct “As a [description of user], I want [functionality] so that [benefit].”

With those definitions in mind, the rest of this article will be devoted to explaining some user story examples.

Some basic user story examples

Here are five basic user story examples:

  1. As a brand manager, I want to receive an alert when a product reseller promotes our products at less than the predetermined price so that I can take steps to protect our brand reputation.
  2. As a remote team leader, I want our team-chat app to incorporate file sharing and annotation so the team can maintain an archive of their work in one place and collaborate in real-time.
  3. As a database administrator, I want to combine datasets from different sources automatically so that I can compile reports for internal customers more easily.
  4. As an iOS user, I want to be able to synchronize activity data with my Apple Watch so that I can better track calories burned.
  5. As a human resources manager, I need to view the status of a job candidate to better manage the application process across various recruitment phases.

Note that in the second example, it is clear that the user in a user story does not necessarily have to denote someone’s job title. In fact, a remote team leader encompasses multiple roles, such as a company vice president, departmental head, or the CEO of a new startup.

To better explain the second user story, it makes sense to use the term “remote team leader” to describe an individual who leads a team of subordinates working in different locations. 

User story example scenarios

In addition to the simple templates outlined in the introduction, user stories may also be required in scenarios that are more complex or multi-faceted. Some of the user story types ideal for these situations include:

  • SAFe feature user stories – a template that incorporates additional information about each product feature such as non-functional requirements, cost of delay, and the benefit hypothesis.
  • Thematic user stories – this template is used by teams to identify user stories that are related to a similar theme, such as a common functional area. The work may entail multiple small improvements that deliver a more substantial performance increase. In most cases, there is no requirement that the work is completed in a specific order since each story provides some independent value to the end-user.
  • Epic user stories – epics represent larger user stories that cannot be completed in a single sprint but that collectively deliver a particular outcome. An example of an epic user story requiring several iterations is “As a marketing data analyst, I want to create trend reports and forecasts that I can use to support the sales initiatives of marketing representatives in a specific region.”

Key takeaways:

  • User stories are informal and general explanations of a software feature from the perspective of the end-user.
  • User stories are constructed in the following form: “As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason].” Other teams use the construct “As a [description of user], I want [functionality] so that [benefit].”
  • For more complex or multifaceted scenarios, the team may choose to base product development on SAFe feature user stories, thematic user stories, or epic user stories.
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