User Stories

Case Study | MFA Graduate Thesis Project

Academy of Art University Graduate School of Web Design & New Media

Week 6

User Story

A user story is a narrative that explains how an individual user, or persona, interacts with a particular digital project such as a mobile application, interactive installation, or wearable device. It is the MOST important element of user-centered design.

As in any story, you will follow a theme, a character, a plot, and a story structure.

Importance of a User Story

User stories identify the role of those who interact with your Project. User stories should be an ever-evolving story that can be updated and modified as you work on your Project.

Develop User Stories for Your Project

In my user story, I created a theme, a character, a plot, and a story structure.

My user story included the following information:

  • a rough background and description of the user
  • name
  • age
  • location
  • education level
  • exposure to the project
  • motivations for using the project

I conducted interviews in the form of a questionnaire using "Survey for Pages" to better understand my user and target audience.

I re-designed my Target Audience Survey and published it across my social media platforms to solicit responses. I had a total of 109 responses. Take my ARTS AUDIENCES SURVEY

Key Persona User Story
My Key Persona's User Story


Primary User Story
My Primary Persona's User Story


Secondary Persona User Story
My Secondary Persona's User Story


For more information on user stories, read this article, "User Stories and Scenarios in UX Design" by Designmodo"


This week I accomplished the following in the production of my project proposal:

  • Learned about user stories and how they provide context for the development of task flows and an accurate proof of concept.
  • Developed a user story for my Project using a POV and my key persona.
  • Added user story and task flow slides to my proposal
  • Completed the third version of my project proposal.
  • Learned the difference between user stories and use cases. Use cases address how a requirement will be handled whereas a user story simply captures the requirement.

And I made the following changes to my project presentation:

  • Added Target Audience
    • Primary (Highly Engaged)
      • Urban Arts Eclectic (18-28)
      • Traditional Culture Vultures (45-74)
    • Secondary (Some Engagement)
      • Fun, Fashion & Friends (16-34)
      • Mature Explorers ( 45-64)
      • Dinner & A Show (25-64)
      • Family & Community Focused (25-44)
      • Bedroom DJs (16-29)
      • Mid-life hobbyists (30-59)
      • Retired Arts & Crafts: (60+ )
    • Tertiary (Not Currently Engaged)
      • Time Poor Dreamers (> 44)
      • A Quiet Pint with the Match (all ages -2/3 men)
      • Older & Home-bound (65+)
      • Limited Means, Nothing Fancy (25-64)
  • Added Target Audience Research Plan
  • Added User Survey & Interview (Survey Questions)
  • Added Target Audience Research Table for "Arts Audiences: Insight"
  • Elaborated on 3 personas
  • Added a 4th Persona
  • Added 2 Primary User Stories and Task Flows
  • Added Color Swatches, Typeface, and Associative Words to Mood Board 

I did LOTS, and LOTS, and LOTS of research into the wee hours of each morning this week.... and all previous weeks!

Next week, I look forward to further refinement, receiving more survey results, continuing my research and development, and maybe a kind-of Spring Break? Who am I kidding.... I will be working on this all next week as well!

Until then, have a great week!

Coming-Up Next...

Next week, I will review my progress and look at the Midterm presentation of my Project:

  • Analyze the presentation process.
  • Explore example presentations.
  • Discuss tips for presenting online.


This blog will serve as a place to create my case study. I invite you to follow along with me as I journey through this process.

Thank you for reading and for your interest.

Julie A. Davis Veach

Julie Davis