How Will Your Website be Used? User Stories & Scenarios

Chris Butler of Newfangled (a web design and marketing firm in NC) writes about creating user stories in the 2014 article “How to Tell the User’s Story (link to full article as at bottom of this post).

From their article:

User Stories

A user story is a brief statement that identifies the user and her need. It makes an incisive abstract that can be associated with your personas. Because personas tend to be pretty general, you might have several user stories associated with one persona group. Here’s an example user story for a hypothetical industrial parts database:

“As an Industrial Facilities Manager, Cathy is responsible for maintaining production systems and sustainability, which includes keeping equipment functional. She needs quick access to maintenance information and parts supply for her facility’s entire inventory.”

Notice that the user story identifies who the user is, what she needs, and why she needs it.

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Student Work, Fall 2014

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Andrew was interested in the angles of the spaces where “graffiti-art” lives. Notice the angles created in the headers (using a background image), and the way images are used to take up an entire space (these are not posters or books, they are rooms and buildings). He used a change in header color to reinforce where the visitor is in the site.

Lustig + Bass

Student Work, Fall 2014

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Greg created a clean design, inspired by modernist ideals… but with “cut shape” images to mimic some of the forms in Lustig’s and Bass’ work. Here, the differentiation from one artist to the other is very subtle: a change in profile picture and page title tell the visitor where they are in the site.

Shattering the Crystal Goblet

Student Work, Fall 2014

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James honored two expressive designers by balancing playfulness (in the header, the background, forcing the page title off the edge of the “page”) with clean, readable typography (for the text). In order to help a visitor know where they are in the site, he played with hiding and showing the artists’ pictures in the header.


Student Work, Fall 2014

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Alicia created a contemporary/traditional design to highlight the work of designers with a “traditional” (hands-on/materials-based) approach to contemporary design. Rollovers on the home page reveal information under each image. Color used on the Q&A pages give visitors a subtle sense of where they are in the site.

Site Map & Wire Frame Resources

A Simple Site Map

Mari Pfeiffer, a freelance writer and web designer based in Southern California, shows how simply you can approach a site map. You don’t need fancy software. You can do a final version in Illustrator or InDesign if you want to, but it’s not required.



Creating a Site Map: What it is, How to Do It.
This slideshare is a comprehensive explanation of what a site map is. Slides 12-14 (out of 30) especially pertain to what we are doing in this class! Also, in order to create a good site map, you should be able to answer all of the questions on slide 26 (below). This is a great resource.

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18 Great Examples of Sketched UI Wireframes and Mockups
“…it’s always a good idea to start with a wireframe. It can be a big time saver if you’re able to nail down the placement of major layout elements early on in a project. …”


Concerning Fidelity in Design
This is an informative, yet easy to read article on design methods. Tyler Tate writes that design methods are not mutually exclusive. Each method is well-suited for a particular phase of the design process, with one level of fidelity (low to high technology) often leading into the next. He backs this up with loads of examples. Read this to get a sense of where wire frames fit into the overall design process!

Responsive Web Design Resources

Media Queries showcases some lovely responsive web sites, showing at a glance what they would look like at four different sizes (smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop).

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Liquidapsive (Liqui-dap-sive) shows how the same web page responds to a changing browser size when produced using Adaptive. Liquid, Responsive, and Static layout. We’ll be building responsive web sites (layouts) in this class. We can’t cover all the UX issues.

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