Introductory articles

  • Task scenarios
    A brief overview of the role of task scenarios in user-centred design. Some examples are provided.

  • Scenarios
    A scenario is a description of a person's interaction with a system. Scenarios help focus design efforts on the user's requirements, which are distinct from technical or business requirements. Scenarios may be related to use cases, which describe interactions at a technical level. Unlike use cases, however, scenarios can be understood by people who do not have any technical background.

Discussion articles

  • Accessibility in the analysis phase: scenarios
    Scenarios, which are built on the information gathered in user-centred design workflow analysis, vary widely. Some focus on the functional level, while others provide task-level detail. "Use case" is used to mean many different things, and some types of use cases are very similar to scenarios as described here. Scenarios that include accessibility provide details on how a "persona" in limiting conditions interacts with the product using adaptive strategies, often including assistive technology.

  • Scenarios in practice
    Scenarios have been discussed in the HCI literature since at least 1992. Since then, they have come into the mainstream: There are books and tutorials on the topic; every published UCD method incorporates them in some form. The current challenge facing the scenario community is making scenario usage more effective and efficient in industry projects. This is a summary of a CHI 03 workshop focusing on "scenarios in practice" as opposed to "the theory of scenarios".

  • Task-based audience segmentation
    "Task-based segmentation is a technique that defines your target audience by the tasks they perform to achieve a goal. My client didn’t need to segment 35,000 employees by the exact role they played, where they were located, their computer aptitude, their career goals, etc. She could classify them instead into four audience segments based on what they were trying to accomplish regarding all aspects of their relationship with the Human Resources department."
    (Indi Young)

  • Tell me the story: the unifying role of scenarios in conceptual design
    Scenarios are narrative descriptions of what users do in the course of completing a task. Rather than describing the state of the system, scenarios present the perspective of a user moving through the task space. To be effective, scenarios need to be detailed enough so that designers can infer, and reason about, the implications that the activity flow and interactions have on the interface design.

Examples and templates