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How to write user stories like a pro

Antora Chattopadhyay
Dec 3, 2022
min read

What is a user story?

The Wikipedia definition states that in agile software development and product management, a user story is an informal, natural language description of features of a software system. It's the layman's way of articulating the value of product features for the user.

Why do we need them?

The software development process involves many people with varying technical understanding. Writing tech jargon to describe features may not work well for everyone in such an environment.

That's where user stories come in. A story describes the user's intent and the value they derive from it. It humanizes the whole process and views the product as a means of fulfilling user needs than a collection of features. A well-defined story is measurable and helps the team estimate the scope and track their progress.

Structure of a user story

A user story consists of 3 parts: Persona + Intent + Value

'As a [persona], I want to [intent], so that [value].'

  1. Persona: For whom we're building the product.
  2. Intent: What the persona is trying to achieve.
  3. Value: The benefit of the intended goal.

Some examples are as follows:

  • As a chef, I want to log in via OTP, so that I don't have to remember my password.
  • As a cab driver, I want to see my daily earnings, so that I can assess my financial situation.
  • As a developer, I want to see the due dates of my tasks, so that I can prioritize my work.

Some Do's and Don'ts


  • Be concise. Keep the story under three lines.
  • Define completion. The definition of 'done' constitutes what completes the user's goals.
  • Include everyone involved in the creation and discussion of user stories.
  • Empathise with the personas.


  • Don't combine multiple user goals in one story.
  • Don't start with a requirement document and create a user story for each functional requirement. Work backwards from the users' end goals.
  • Don't write user stories just for the sake of writing them. They have to serve their intended purpose of aiding the conversation between users, business owners, developers and testers.


Writing user stories can appear as an additional step. But used well, they can help align everyone to the goal of delivering more value to the user rather than creating a bundle of features that look good on paper but are not that useful.

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