On a current project, we're trying to write UX into the user story and we currently have this:

Story: "focus on design for the beginner user"

Acceptance criteria:

  • Intuitive navigation
  • Uncluttered and appealing user interface

I'm being asked to help refine these user stories that are specific to the UI, but I have no experience with this type of story. Typically, our stories don't contain this type of language and will instead refer to the thing we're supposed to design ("search bar for users to quickly find information", etc.)

Does anyone have any thoughts/experience on UX user stories like this?

3 Answers 3


You can follow the template like this fill-in-the-blanks example. Please add more details as needed into the story.

User story: “As a [persona], I [want to], [so that].”

I would say something like, "As a beginner user, I want to have an intuitive navigation and uncluttered appealing user interface, so that I can (for example)buy products quickly."


The item you provided doesn't really work as a story because it is not a capability or a need that the customer has. Most commonly, UI/UX is a part of delivering on a need. For example, if you said "As a DIY homeowner, I want a list of all tools for my landscaping projects so I can pick the one out I want even if I don't know what it is called." then part of delivering that would be designing a user experience that was simple and intuitive for that user.

It is possible that a user story may be almost entirely UI/UX. To use your example, maybe a storefront has grown so large that it has become confusing and you need to change how people get around. You might say "As an online customer, when I come to the store, I want it to be clear where to go in order to find what I need." Most of this story is UI/UX, but not all of it.

The difference is that if your team is using User Stories, those should be capturing needs of the customer, not work to be done. Once the need is identified, the development team will discuss what work needs to be done to deliver on it and will organize themselves around it.


Your example is very vague and it's never really a user need to "have intuitive navigation". Intuitive navigation design is the result of designing for user needs. Goals and needs are more part of the problem space. Read more on user needs https://www.nngroup.com/articles/user-need-statements/

You have being asked to describe a solution from the user experience point of view, so the team can move to designing the UI.

User stories, that you are referring to, are basically part of the deliverables, more solution and UI oriented. In order to deliver these user stories, you have to have a ready solution based on real user goals and needs.

For more on distinction between problem and solution space, visit: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/discovery-phase/

I am going to lay down an example, very generic and abstract example, on how do you get to User stories.


You have researched and talked to your users and found out that beginners know what they need to accomplish, they might not know how to find it and they do not want to waste too much time learning their way around.


  • User: novice user
  • User goal: accomplish few different things on the platform every so often
  • User need: quickly find what they are looking for
  • User need: identify right terminology that their topic is defined with
  • User need: accomplish on each visit a different thing
  • User need: get to the task without bothering with learning about the rest of the platform

These are very abstract generalised need statements, they need be specific to your case.

With the goals and needs framed like this, you know the exact problem that you want to solve for your users. Now you can move to the solution space and identify right UI/UX solutions for these problems.


To solve their problem you have identified many different solutions, like making the navigation bar bigger, separating topics in categories and subcategories, making landing page full of icons with categories and popular highlighted topics. But, you have narrowed your solution to a simple free typing search tool, with autocomplete, as the best solution. Search engine style.

Some users might struggle to find the right wording for their search, so we want to show them their search history so they can easily identify last terminology they used to get to their topics.

We want to help users to be even faster by adding some automatic suggestions on their next visit, adding links to what their next step could be, based on last activities, so they do not need to even type, they jump straight to the task.


As novice user, I need to search for things by typing words, so I can get quickly the direct link to the specific topic I am looking for.

As novice user, I would love to see what terms I have used last time to find things, so I can continue my search from there easily.

As novice user, I need to get quickly link suggestions, even after typing just few letters of the keyword I am looking for, by autocompleting my search terms, so I can quickly adjust the wording and identify the right terms for the topic I am looking for.

As novice user, I would like to receive suggestions, on my next visit, about my next task, so I do not need to search again.

So, these user stories are directly linked to the solution. You can practically start designing UI by having something like this.

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