I am working on creating a use case scenario document and one of the requests was that I should have some generic use cases such as an user just using the navigation to look around the site. I am a little confused about that since aren't use cases about specific actions which the users are expected to perform and can they extended to generic use cases as above where is no clear end result.

  • You can define a user case as being a 'general user that browses with no particular objective' perhaps? Jan 10, 2012 at 0:34
  • I agree with that but how do you define the success scenario when you dont know what the end goal is going to be.
    – Mervin
    Jan 10, 2012 at 1:07
  • edit: The title was supposed to be use case scenarios,not user case scenarios,sorry
    – Mervin
    Jan 10, 2012 at 1:08
  • What kind of a site is it? Informational, sales for a non-software product, or sales for a software product (including SaaS)?
    – dnbrv
    Jan 10, 2012 at 2:51
  • Its actually a content publishing system
    – Mervin
    Jan 10, 2012 at 6:20

5 Answers 5


When you say "generic" I think "universal" or "reusable", which is something different than you're getting at, I think. You've also identified that the problem you see is that you're being asked to create a use case with no clear success scenario. I would disagree with that -- you say "such as a user just using the navigation to look around", and to that I say there's a case you can build for that, with a success scenario. (This isn't really an answer, but I don't have the points just to make a comment, sorry!)

generic use case != use case about a generic feature

Seems to me that your potential user calls features such as "navigation" a generic feature. This is different from requesting a generic use case.

Q: Can a use case be about a generic feature? Of course!

Q: Can a use case itself be generic? This question would probably lead to discussion, but typical examples you'll find floating around the web won't have too little fidelity. In the end it depends on what you want to achieve with the use cases.


It's anyone's guess just what generic means to whoever made the request for generic use cases. The best step is to go back to them and ask for examples, then try to derive the theme that runs through those examples (if any).

Trying to answer more philosophically, I guess a use case can be generic when it describes interactions that are valid, but don't really differentiate the product from any other. Signing up, resetting your password, clicking links - these are not strictly universal, but they are so common and implemented similarly that they can be called generic.


You can certainly have such kind of a generic Use Case Scenario (if mentioned specifically, cos normally its implicit) , with success criteria(Post Condition) in your case being

  • User is not lost at any step

  • User (if has vague idea about what he wants) is easily directed in the right direction.

You can test these cases with 5-6 different users with no specific motives while navigating and get their feedback at the end.


In UML, these would be abstract use cases. Then, concrete use cases would inherit from these. The common nomenclature in UML for such a relationship is generalization/specification. The abstract use case is the generalization and the inheriting concrete use case is the specification.

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