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Storytelling - a continuous use case description in a non-technical language


The dish




Write a short novel about the application of the system. Pretend that you spend a period of time, for example one day, with a user of the new system, and write down how you observe the period. You decide how detailed the description should be; however, the purpose of the story is to gain a better understanding of the system and achieve a general overview.

If there are many different users, you may write two or more stories, so you can cover every angle of the system.


In the initial phases of a project, it is often difficult to keep a general overview, because many impressions and details have been printed into the developer's head. One way of achieving this general overview is by using 'storytelling'. It is very liberating to write a story instead of describing technical requirements, because a story can be told with more or less technical information and you can use your imaginative and creative skills. Another argument for using storytelling is that you can reread your story and preferably get inspiration for further development of the system-to-be.

You do not have to worry about how to implement the functions you are describing; just write and then later on in the analysis and design phases, you can focus on the functions and how to implement them.