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Story Articulation: Activity Map to Principles

13.2 marks a big release for the Mingle team with the introduction of our new WYSIWYG editor. After hearing that our previous editor was painful for many of our customers, much in the same way with our program backlog, we reached out to understand the root of their pain and the core activity it was affecting.

After speaking with our customers during numerous problem interviews, our team honed in on story articulation--giving clarity and distinction to a story--as the activity our users were engaging in with our editor. We then created an activity map to better understand the context of this activity and the actions it involved:

  1. Have a conversation to discover knowledge

    a      We found that the knowledge required to understand the value and create a story resulted from conversations throughout the team.

  2. Capture knowledge

    a      Teams then capture that knowledge in the story artefact, using various story writing styles and organizing it into clear and intelligible content.

  3. Share with others

    a      After they had been articulated, the next step was to share stories with the team to create a shared understanding.

Using this activity map, we identified principles that would help inform the editor’s design and shape the user’s experience around it. And here’s what we came up with:

  1. Support collaborative story articulation
  2. Invisible part of story articulation process
  3. Provide just enough formatting to support emphasis and clarity
  4. Ongoing changes over finished documentation

We looked back at these principles, which we pinned to our wall, when prioritizing and ranking stories, and to make sure the new editor we were building supported aligned actions. We’d love to hear whether or not you agree, so please let us know how it works for you!

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Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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