I am confused over scenario and user story! are they same? or they completely different from each other?

Thanks & Regards-

1 Answer 1


Too often in UX design we find both new and experienced designers debate over the definition of terminologies. Before I give my take on the answer it is important firstly for you to consider what you want to do and why you are doing this. Thinking about this first will guide you to creating the right assets regardless of what it is called, and I encourage you to create this type of dialog with the team that you are working with.

Now to your question. Both scenarios and user stories are of course related to the end-user, but do the two terms refer to similar or different things? In this case, scenarios is commonly used as a rather loose and undefined term to describe a specific situation, usually in the context of the user trying to achieve a goal or complete a task. So scenarios can be used say for example, in a persona to help you understand how a particular type of person might go about performing a task. It could also be visually depicted as a series of steps in a user journey to describe a part of the overall user experience in accomplishing a particular objective.

From my experience, user story is commonly used as a very specific term for business analysts, developers and ux designers to communicate a single feature/task/goal from the user's perspective when working in an agile software development process. It is commonly written in the format of:

As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason]

An example of a user story might be:

As an [administrator], I want [to be able to indicate folders not to backup] so that [my backup drive isn't filled up with things I don't need saved].

With both scenarios and user stories, you have to determine the level of detail that is appropriate for the ux design task that you are planning to do.

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