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I am creating user stories for the first time. I understand the basics:

As a <role> I want <goal> so that <benefit>.

I am ok writing things like 'as a customer I want to be able to submit my application online as it saves me posting it in'. Where I am getting confused, is for something where our user research states that 'when I am filling in a form online I expect it to automatically bypass irrelevant questions'. Does this count as a user story? If not what is it?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are different schools of thought on this.

Their original meaning is "placeholders for conversations".

A good way to think about a user story is that it is a reminder to have a conversation with your customer


In this sense yours is a valid user story.

Other people refer to the: "As a XXX, I want to YYY, so that ZZZ" format. This was developed by Connextra in 2001. In this sense your example isn't.

On the other hand, Mike Cohn suggests that the "value" is optional.

In my user stories book and in all my training and conference sessions on user stories I advocate writing user stories in the form of: “As a , I want so that .” While I consider the so-that clause optional, I really like this template.


This would make your example qualify as a story.

However, others like suggest the exact opposite, and put the value first: "In order to achieve ZZZ as a XXX, I want YYYY".

Elizabeth Keogh suggests that business value is more important than user role and presents a revised template for writing user stories, which she credits to Chris Matts. The traditional format emphasizes the importance of the user, mentioning them first. The newly proposed variation switches the emphasis to the business value


Again, this disqualifies your story.

In XP, extreme programming:

User Stories are written by the customers as things that the system needs to do for them. They are similar to usage scenarios, except that they are not limited to describing a user interface. They are in the format of about three sentences of text written by the customer in the customers terminology without techno-syntax.


So they are free form and yours is OK.

In general, there is no predefined concept and whatever works for the current team is fine.

See my original answer on Programmers

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Thank you, I appreciate the help. – UX Newbie Jul 4 '13 at 19:01

I think it's just incomplete:

 <role>when I'm filling in a form online</role>
 <goal>I expect it to automatically bypass irrelevant questions</goal>
 <benefit>to save time</benefit>

You just need to imply the purpose.

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Thank you, that helps me a lot. – UX Newbie Jul 4 '13 at 19:02

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