User Stories | Use Cases, User Stories, Flow Charts

Understanding Use Cases, Use Case Scenarios, User Stories, Flow Charts
krasamo | Nov 18, 2020

Table of Content
What is a user story?
What are a use case and a use case scenario?
User story and a use case. What is the difference?

Example 1: Let say that we encounter a mobile app sign-in; the user story will be: User A needs to SIGN IN to access the app. (Who, What, Why). Then, we developed the use case: first, we need to open the app, verify connectivity in the device, and then present the user the options that they have to accomplish the task. We see that we have multiple choices; we can sign-in using our Facebook account, Twitter account, or email. The use case is sign-in; each of the options to sign in is a use case scenario. All of the situations lead to the same outcome, but as users, we will encounter different interfaces depending on our choice of sign-in.

A user story will give us more information regarding the motive and needs of the user; it will also give us a high-level goal vs. the use case. It will provide us with the details of how to accomplish the target and all the scenarios that the user can encounter while performing the task.
The use case is more detailed and focuses more on functionality.

What is a Flow Chart?

A user flow is a more detailed and graphical representation of a use case or use case scenario. Flow Charts express navigation as a map; they use shapes and graphics to convey the screen’s content and navigation indicators to convey the interaction between screens. Complex cases should not use Flow Charts as documentation. When the use cases involve lots of screens/elements and navigation specifications, the diagram can become too big and too difficult to understand.

The user flows can be:
Task flows: Shapes and navigation arrows represent steps.
Wireflows: More detailed flows. Instead of graphic forms, they involve Low to Medium fidelity wireframes and navigation arrows. Wireflows do not focus on specific tasks, more on the general navigation.
User Flows: It includes Low to Medium fidelity wireframes with the difference that the flows are specific on functionality from a user or task perspective navigation vs. the Wireflows that document more than one global perspective

The use cases and flow charts, in our experience, are documentation that goes through several parties involved in the process:
The Product owner takes the use cases to validate the user stories.
The Technical Leads and developers use the use cases and flow charts as documentation to verify the functionality of the implementation.
The UI UX designers develop wireframes and mockups based on the use cases.
The SQA team take the use cases to validate the expected functionality vs. the implementation.

Author = Montse Cordova (krasamo)


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