Consider the people who are using your website
We reference user stories all of the time – in our blog posts, our case studies, and probably in about 75% of our conversations in the office. But what exactly is a user story?
User story: informal perspective of an end-user that includes: type of user, what they want and why. Helps to inform simplified requirements.
We believe that everything on your website should tie into a user story. When we’re determining information architecture, creating content, designing, or developing, we’re always thinking about the people who will actually be using the website. Every decision we make with our clients should have purpose and research to back it up… and ultimately lead to the best UX.
An early part of our Ecommerce Action Plan (EAP) is a user-story workshop. We meet with your whole project team, because everyone has a different, valuable perspective and something to bring to the table. We strive to gather as much detail as possible in the beginning of your project so we can consider each user’s needs as we move through to implementation. Despite this, you will find that user stories continue to arise throughout a website project and well after launch. As we (and you) learn more about your customers, we learn more about what they need and how to create the best UX, which is how and why a website continues to grow and change.
Write one clear statement for every action and outcome a user may need your system to handle.
“I want to sign up for a subscription so I can automatically receive products every month.”
Consider users like: retail vs. wholesale customers, support staff, accountants, marketing staff, fulfillment staff, partners and more. Each business has a different set of users and it’s important to think about each of them in your context. This approach is simple but extremely powerful when applied to the actions and outcomes for all users of your system.
Mapping user stories
Once we’ve determined the users, we map out all the ways we will fulfill their needs, from core Shopify and Shopify Plus features and configuration to custom development. For the above example, we would include a Shopify app like Bold’s Subscriptions App so customers can sign up for subscription packages on specific products. For complex operations and/or enterprise solutions, we might configure a workflow around this.
We draw upon this map of all your known user stories to create content, consider apps and necessary integrations, and decide which features we will need to include in the Shopify theme and UX design. In other words, we have the strong beginnings of a plan for implementation, and a document that we can reference for all of our decisions moving forward.
Be cautious of trends
Clients may have a wishlist of features they’ve seen on a competitor’s or role model’s website. However, we are very careful to make sure we don’t implement features solely based on trends. If there is no real user story to connect it to, and no research from analytics to support it, we risk implementing components that could negatively impact your UX: your customers’ experiences.
Trends will fade, but if you make sure you keep your users in mind, your website will outlast them.
We can help you tell your story
From our EAP to implementation and launch, your user stories are what will define your site and set you up for success. What are you waiting for?
Able Sense is a Shopify Plus Partner.
We’ll help you take your ecommerce business to the next level with Shopify Plus.