User story mapping will help you construct the exact flow and the journey that real people take through your systems.
There are two stories that are most important in this context: this first story is of course the users’- there’s a setting, there’s a lead character and some set of supporting characters; there is a some kind of challenge situation that the user or the character must confront and overcome or some problem that they must solve, some way in which the deck is stacked against them; there’s some plot some, in other words some unfolding action that starts with some kind of opening and rising action leads to some kind of conclusion and it’s really rather uncanny how many of these aspects in the context of story – which you might find in a novel or short story or movie – relate to what actually goes on in the users life.
It’s also important to note that creating this user narrative can be rather challenging because you have to start with some hypothesis, some guess, in many cases with whatever data that you have now or whatever understanding you already have of your target user, you have to start with that and put together some hypothetical narrative of who they are – that can also vary widely depending on how diverse your different users and their narratives are; you may have one core target user or a handful or you may have many target users; each one of them might have a slightly or significantly different story to tell and daily life to live; it’s important to understand them and prioritize them and decide which you’re going to go after first.
There are various examples of how to do this – one very good example is by Airbnb and the storyboards they created using cartoons and captions and comics and drawings and illustrations and really putting together a frame by frame storyboard of who their users are.
Consider trying some of the user story mapping tools, books, and processes available – they’ll help you capture and continually revise all your user story mapping efforts across multiple user types, multiple systems, and any online campaigns you’re running.
It shows at what point they reach for the Airbnb app, and at what point to they want to interact with Airbnb and get something accomplished; of course, in their case, Airbnb has two primary types of users – one is the host, who has some property they’re trying to rent, and of course the other user would be the guest who is looking for a place to stay while traveling, whether that might be for personal reasons or for business reasons; the video will give you an idea of what the Airbnb design team went through to create the storyboard of the narrative that they that they crafted around guests and hosts, and how this process really uncovered for them how that app fits in the lives and the world and the narrative of the guests and the hosts.