Use cases

Use cases describe the sequence of actions your users accomplish while interacting with the interface of your product or service.

How does it help

Writing a list of all the steps your user takes to reach a certain output helps us to identify the Product Requirements. A use case is all about function: how can your user interact with your system. It answers this question: What behaviors should be implemented into your product or service?

What will you get

Writing Uses Cases is a time consuming activity, which requires a lot of analysis and writing. However, such documentation can be really useful not only during the UX design process, but also in the development phase: the developers will easily understand what functions should be implemented.

Ideally, a Use Case documentation contains all the interactions between your user and the system. Consequently, such documentation needs to be iterated throughout the whole UX design process (especially after testing). Usually a Use Case consist of the following parts:

  • Title and short Summary
  • Preconditions
  • Trigger Event
  • The user, who interacts with the system
  • The Main Success Scenario (Standard Flow)
  • Alternate Flows and Exception Flows

It needs to be highlighted, that next to Use Cases, User Stories and Scenarios should be used in order to ensure a human-centered approach. While Use Cases are more like technical blueprints, User Stories and Scenarios represent the human touch of this phase of the UX design process.

What is the process

To create a Use Case, we conduct the following steps:

  • Determining each task your user wants to accomplish
  • Writing down the detailed steps of the standard flow
  • Thinking about exceptions and possible failures
  • Grouping: what are the common and the edge cases
  • Creating the documentation
  • Iterating throughout the UX design process