user stories

Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your User Stories by Gojko Adzic & David Evans

Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your User Stories

This is probably the most useful book I’ve read in the last year. Anyone that works on an agile software team and has to deal with user stories in any way needs this book. Whether you’re on the owner side, the management side, or on the development team there’s a tremendous amount of detail in here.

One of the great things about this tiny manual is that it goes through each of the common pitfalls of writing user stories and connects appropriate solutions. It goes through the consequences of the various solutions because, unlike many books out there, this is written from a very “been there, done that” point of view.

The last thing I’d point out is that this is not a book for developers, managers, or CEO’s. It’s for all of them. I mean that the writers have taken the time to point out what every stake holder needs from user stories in order for the project to succeed. For instance, Adzic and Evans go through why owners love scope creep but then explain why and how it’s a healthy part of the cycle. While a lot of these books are about blame, this one is way more about reality and getting across the finish line without falling into common traps.

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The CloudForge UX Story

I decided to make a simple slideshow to cover the entire CloudForge UX process.

Still in love with Balsamiq Mockups

I hate using paper. I just do. I could never cut anything straight and had an ever present fear of lead poisoning drilled into me by catholic nuns in elementary school. You can imagine my elation when I discovered Balsamiq (now called Mockups by Balsamiq). At the time I was tasked with creating wireframes to show the CEO/Art director (don’t get me started) some ideas. Seemed like the perfect solution to keep his mind off the aesthetics and on the larger issue of pain points, flow, and user stories. What have I used this program for since? Everything! Wireframes, personas, prototypes, even design critiques. The funny thing is that I was raised using Adobe Illustrator for anything that involved the smallest amount of layout. Talk about overkill. Typically I’ll end up exporting the bmml files out as PNGs and dropping them into Keynote or whatever I’m using to present.