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Origins of user stories

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  • william.syntagm
    I ve been working in Agile UCD for some years, but only just thought to see if there was a Yahoo group on the subject (and there is!). At the moment, I m
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 26 2:56 AM
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      I've been working in Agile UCD for some years, but only just thought to see if there was a Yahoo group on the subject (and there is!).

      At the moment, I'm trying to research the origins of 'user stories' as we know and love them in Agile<g>. So far I've got the source back to 1996:

      "I was on the first XP project, starting in 1996. We had "user stories" from the very beginning. AFAIK, Kent invented the term." -- Ron Jeffries (referring to Kent Beck)

      Does anyone know of references to the term prior to this? I've already done quite a bit of research so I'm not looking for Google search results (unless there's a really relevant one I've missed).

      BTW - minor plug - we have a couple of Agile UCD courses at CHI 2013 in Paris this April. One from me and one from Karen Holtzblatt & Hugh Beyers. See http://chi2013.acm.org/attending/courses/ (they are very inexpensive for anyone attending the conference)

      Regards,

      William Hudson
      User Experience Strategist, Syntagm Ltd
      Courses Co-Chair, CHI 2013 (Paris)
      Conference Committee, UCD 2013 (London)

      Guerrilla UCD – Usability & User-Experience Webinars
      www.guerrillaucd.com | @guerrillaucd
    • Dave Rooney
      Hi William, I m curious... you received responses on the XP group from people who were around when the term was coined and others who have been in the XP
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 26 3:42 AM
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        Hi William,

        I'm curious... you received responses on the XP group from people who were around when the term was coined and others who have been in the XP 'world' for well over a decade.  Were       those responses not good enough?

        Have you considered contacting Kent directly to ask him?

        Dave Rooney


        On 13-03-26 5:56 AM, william.syntagm wrote:
         

        I've been working in Agile UCD for some years, but only just thought to see if there was a Yahoo group on the subject (and there is!).

        At the moment, I'm trying to research the origins of 'user stories' as we know and love them in Agile<g>. So far I've got the source back to 1996:

        "I was on the first XP project, starting in 1996. We had "user stories" from the very beginning. AFAIK, Kent invented the term." -- Ron Jeffries (referring to Kent Beck)

        Does anyone know of references to the term prior to this? I've already done quite a bit of research so I'm not looking for Google search results (unless there's a really relevant one I've missed).

        BTW - minor plug - we have a couple of Agile UCD courses at CHI 2013 in Paris this April. One from me and one from Karen Holtzblatt & Hugh Beyers. See http://chi2013.acm.org/attending/courses/ (they are very inexpensive for anyone attending the conference)

        Regards,

        William Hudson
        User Experience Strategist, Syntagm Ltd
        Courses Co-Chair, CHI 2013 (Paris)
        Conference Committee, UCD 2013 (London)

        Guerrilla UCD – Usability & User-Experience Webinars
        www.guerrillaucd.com | @guerrillaucd


      • william.syntagm
        Dave - Like I said, I ve got the source back to 1996 but I don t think I would be very effective as a researcher if I didn t question whether the term and
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 26 3:54 AM
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          Dave -

          Like I said, I've got the source back to 1996 but I don't think I would be very effective as a researcher if I didn't question whether the term and concept just suddenly materialized at that date.

          I have emailed Kent, but so far no joy. If you're in a position to encourage him to reply please do so!

          Regards,

          William

          PS - Comments in the XP group about Jack Carrol's scenario-based design (and other HCI/UCD thinking) are not really relevant. I'm trying to find out where 'user story' comes from in the way we currently use it. If it did suddenly materialize in 1996, that's fine, but I'd like to be sure.

          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi William,
          >
          > I'm curious... you received responses on the XP group from people who
          > were around when the term was coined and others who have been in the XP
          > 'world' for well over a decade. Were those responses not good enough?
          >
          > Have you considered contacting Kent directly to ask him?
          >
          > Dave Rooney
          >
          >
          [snipped]
        • Larry Constantine
          AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially when
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 26 4:14 AM
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            AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.

             

            ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

             

                Lior Samson, novelist

                Active (Professional) Member, SFWA

                Simon Rockower Award (2010), American Jewish Press Association

                Author of The Rosen Singularity (Gesher Press, 2011) and The Homeland Connection novels:

                Bashert, The Dome, Web Games (Gesher Press, 2010) and Chipset (Gesher Press, 2012)

             

             

             

             

            From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of william.syntagm
            Sent: Tuesday, 26 March, 2013 05:56
            To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

             

             

            I've been working in Agile UCD for some years, but only just thought to see if there was a Yahoo group on the subject (and there is!).

            At the moment, I'm trying to research the origins of 'user stories' as we know and love them in Agile<g>. So far I've got the source back to 1996:

            "I was on the first XP project, starting in 1996. We had "user stories" from the very beginning. AFAIK, Kent invented the term." -- Ron Jeffries (referring to Kent Beck)

            Does anyone know of references to the term prior to this? I've already done quite a bit of research so I'm not looking for Google search results (unless there's a really relevant one I've missed).

            BTW - minor plug - we have a couple of Agile UCD courses at CHI 2013 in Paris this April. One from me and one from Karen Holtzblatt & Hugh Beyers. See http://chi2013.acm.org/attending/courses/ (they are very inexpensive for anyone attending the conference)

            Regards,

            William Hudson
            User Experience Strategist, Syntagm Ltd
            Courses Co-Chair, CHI 2013 (Paris)
            Conference Committee, UCD 2013 (London)

            Guerrilla UCD – Usability & User-Experience Webinars
            www.guerrillaucd.com | @guerrillaucd

          • Adrian Howard
            ... Which brings me back to my question when you asked this on the CHI list ;-) What exactly do you mean by user story . The C3 teams stories are fairly
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 26 4:40 AM
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              On 26 March 2013 10:54, william.syntagm <william.hudson@...> wrote:
              > PS - Comments in the XP group about Jack Carrol's scenario-based design (and other HCI/UCD thinking) are not really relevant. I'm trying to find out where 'user story' comes from in the way we currently use it. If it did suddenly materialize in 1996, that's fine, but I'd like to be sure.

              Which brings me back to my question when you asked this on the CHI list ;-)

              What exactly do you mean by "user story". The C3 teams stories are
              fairly different from the way many folk structure user stories now...
              and IIRC they were called "Customer Stories" at that point.

              Scrum teams were sticking things on cards on walls before 96. Do they
              count as user stories?

              Hell - I was putting sh*t that need doing on cards in the 80's - which
              I copied from my Dad the engineer when I was a kid. Do they count as
              user stories?

              Which user story are you after?

              Cheers,

              Adrian
              --
              http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
              t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
            • William Hudson
              Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you. I have since come across a document entitled User Stories Done Right: Requirements by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 26 4:48 AM
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                Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.

                 

                I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right: Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be the earlier date.

                 

                Regards,

                 

                William

                 

                From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                 




                AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.

                 

                ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                    Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

                 

                [snipped]

              • William Hudson
                Adrian - I only just found your reply to my note to CHI-WEB (my email filter stuck it somewhere I wasn t expecting). So sorry for ignoring you earlier . I
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 26 5:09 AM
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                  Adrian -

                  I only just found your reply to my note to CHI-WEB (my email filter stuck it
                  somewhere I wasn't expecting). So sorry for ignoring you earlier<g>.

                  I don't mind that different people do different things and still call them
                  user stories. The basic idea is that you put a story of use on a small card.
                  I'm thinking now that it might have come from Scrum (see my reply to Larry
                  Constantine - you also hinted at this in your earlier note). Their
                  development into the current 'As a <role>...' format is interesting and of
                  course, part of the picture.

                  Just to fill people in on the motive - if you are going to write on a topic,
                  you start with what we already know and the background leading up to it.
                  When I did this for the card sorting article I wrote for the Interaction
                  Design Encyclopedia
                  (http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/card_sorting.html), I found
                  references to card sorting (in psychology) as far back as 1886. The term
                  'user story' is not that uncommon, but coupled with writing them on small
                  cards in a software development process it becomes more specific.

                  So I may have it back to Jeff Sutherland in 1993 now. Interestingly, in the
                  ACM Digital Library there is almost no mention prior to 1999.

                  Regards,

                  William


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
                  Sent: 26 March 2013 11:41
                  To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Re: Origins of user stories

                  On 26 March 2013 10:54, william.syntagm <william.hudson@...>
                  wrote:
                  > PS - Comments in the XP group about Jack Carrol's scenario-based design
                  (and other HCI/UCD thinking) are not really relevant. I'm trying to find out
                  where 'user story' comes from in the way we currently use it. If it did
                  suddenly materialize in 1996, that's fine, but I'd like to be sure.

                  Which brings me back to my question when you asked this on the CHI list ;-)

                  What exactly do you mean by "user story". The C3 teams stories are fairly
                  different from the way many folk structure user stories now...
                  and IIRC they were called "Customer Stories" at that point.

                  Scrum teams were sticking things on cards on walls before 96. Do they count
                  as user stories?

                  Hell - I was putting sh*t that need doing on cards in the 80's - which I
                  copied from my Dad the engineer when I was a kid. Do they count as user
                  stories?

                  Which user story are you after?

                  Cheers,

                  Adrian
                  --
                  http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                  t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh


                  ------------------------------------

                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Larry Constantine
                  I believe Jeff Sutherland presented that particular talk at GBC/ACM in 2007 (April 28 according to GBC/ACm site). The copyright claim spans back to earlier
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 26 6:25 AM
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                    I believe Jeff Sutherland presented that particular talk at GBC/ACM in 2007 (April 28 according to GBC/ACm site). The copyright claim spans back to earlier material. I do not believe he coined the card-based modeling term.

                     

                    Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                    Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

                     

                     

                    From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Hudson
                    Sent: Tuesday, 26 March, 2013 07:49
                    To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                     

                    Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.

                     

                    I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right: Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be the earlier date.

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                    William

                     

                    From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                    Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                    To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                     



                    AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.

                     

                    ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                        Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

                     

                    [snipped]

                  • William Hudson
                    Larry - Thanks for the clarification. I was coming to that conclusion myself even though the Google result in question seems to be dated 1993. Regards, William
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 26 6:44 AM
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                      Larry –

                       

                      Thanks for the clarification. I was coming to that conclusion myself even though the Google result in question seems to be dated 1993.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      William

                       

                      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                      Sent: 26 March 2013 13:25
                      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: William Hudson
                      Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                       




                      I believe Jeff Sutherland presented that particular talk at GBC/ACM in 2007 (April 28 according to GBC/ACm site). The copyright claim spans back to earlier material. I do not believe he coined the card-based modeling term.

                       

                      Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                      Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

                       

                       

                      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Hudson
                      Sent: Tuesday, 26 March, 2013 07:49
                      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                       

                      Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.

                       

                      I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right: Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be the earlier date.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      William

                       

                      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                      Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                       

                       

                      AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.

                       

                      ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

                          Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

                       

                      [snipped]




                    • Adrian Howard
                      I m moderately the certain that the term user story came out of the XP crowd (possibly via being called customer stories first - my memory is poor). The
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 26 9:09 AM
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                        I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                        XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                        memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                        and Sprint Backlog Items.

                        The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                        early Scrum team folk to be sure.

                        So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.

                        The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                        define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                        something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                        impression I had in the late 90's.

                        Adrian

                        On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                        > Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right:
                        > Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that
                        > reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real
                        > date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be
                        > the earlier date.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > William
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                        > Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                        > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of
                        > course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially
                        > when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early
                        > days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                        >
                        > Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [snipped]



                        --
                        http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                        t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                      • spbyh
                        I may have some of the original WIKI postings and emails from the CCC project back in the 90s where the term was used by Beck, Jeffries, Astels, Cunningham, et
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 26 6:57 PM
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                          I may have some of the original WIKI postings and emails from the CCC project back in the 90s where the term was used by Beck, Jeffries, Astels, Cunningham, et al. I do have some original Ron Jeffries user stories on cards and they are not in the Rachel Davis format which apparently started around 2005.  Ron put the estimate on the front of the card and the acceptance test on the back of the card, something that we didn't do.  I don't know who actually came up with the idea of using cards.
                          If it can be traced back before CCC, you might have to go to the Smalltalk world, but I have the distinct impression the concept evolved out of the work done on CCC.
                          =steve



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
                          To: agile-usability <agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
                          Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                          I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                          XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                          memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                          and Sprint Backlog Items.
                          
                          The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                          early Scrum team folk to be sure.
                          
                          So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.
                          
                          The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                          define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                          something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                          impression I had in the late 90's.
                          
                          Adrian
                          
                          
                          On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote: > Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you. > > > > I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right: > Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that > reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real > date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be > the earlier date. > > > > Regards, > > > > William > > > > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine > Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15 > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories > > > > > > > AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of > course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially > when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early > days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns. > > > > ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow > > Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute > > > > [snipped] -- http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh ------------------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: agile-usability-digest@yahoogroups.com agile-usability-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        • spbyh
                          Just a bit more. In 1989 Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck (then at Apple) gave a paper at OOPSLA89 which included the concept of the CRC card. I suspect that the
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 26 7:09 PM
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                            Just a bit more.  In 1989 Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck (then at Apple) gave a paper at OOPSLA89 which included the concept of the CRC card. I suspect that the CRC card evolved into the user story at CCC as a way to make it more 'user-friendly'. The concepts are similar.
                            =steve



                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
                            To: agile-usability <agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
                            Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                            I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                            XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                            memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                            and Sprint Backlog Items.
                            
                            The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                            early Scrum team folk to be sure.
                            
                            So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.
                            
                            The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                            define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                            something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                            impression I had in the late 90's.
                            
                            Adrian
                            
                            
                            On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote: > Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you. > > > > I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right: > Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that > reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real > date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be > the earlier date. > > > > Regards, > > > > William > > > > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine > Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15 > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories > > > > > > > AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of > course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially > when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early > days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns. > > > > ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow > > Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute > > > > [snipped] -- http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh ------------------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: agile-usability-digest@yahoogroups.com agile-usability-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Gerard Meszaros
                            I was a member of the Hillside Group along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham in 1995/1996 and was present at the first 4 PLOP conferences. The following is my
                            Message 13 of 23 , Mar 26 8:35 PM
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                              I was a member of the Hillside Group along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham in
                              1995/1996 and was present at the first 4 PLOP conferences. The following is my
                              understanding of the origins of XP and User Stories based on my direct contacts
                              with them in that time frame.

                              CRC cards (co-invented by Ward and were used in domain modeling and represent a
                              single domain object class and its responsibilities and collaborators. (See
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-responsibility-collaboration_card) The user
                              story card represents something the Customer wanted the Dev Team to build for
                              them. Other than both being written on cards, there is really no similarity. So
                              the 1989 OOPSLA paper is a red herring.

                              You might take a look at the PLOP 1995 paper called Episodes which is the first
                              writing I'm aware of that describes the process that came to be called eXtreme
                              Programming. (see http://c2.com/ppr/episodes.html) It doesn't mention User
                              Stories by name but refer to "Implied Requirement" and "Work Split" for the
                              seeds of the user story concept.

                              Best wishes,

                              Gerard


                              On 3/26/2013 8:09 PM, spbroi@... wrote:
                              > Just a bit more. In 1989 Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck (then at Apple) gave a
                              > paper at OOPSLA89which included the concept of the CRC card. I suspect that the
                              > CRC card evolved into the user story at CCC as a way to make it more
                              > 'user-friendly'. The concepts are similar.
                              > =steve
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
                              > To: agile-usability <agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
                              > Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                              >
                              > I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                              > XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                              > memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                              > and Sprint Backlog Items.
                              >
                              > The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                              > early Scrum team folk to be sure.
                              >
                              > So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.
                              >
                              > The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                              > define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                              > something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                              > impression I had in the late 90's.
                              >
                              > Adrian
                              >
                              > On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@... <mailto:william.hudson@...>> wrote:
                              >> Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right:
                              >> Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that
                              >> reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real
                              >> date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be
                              >> the earlier date.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> Regards,
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> William
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> From:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                              >> [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com?>] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                              >> Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                              >> To:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                              >> Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of
                              >> course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially
                              >> when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early
                              >> days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                              >>
                              >> Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> [snipped]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --
                              > http://quietstars.com adrianh@... <mailto:adrianh@...> twitter.com/adrianh
                              > t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              --
                              Gerard Meszaros
                              Lean/Agile Coach/Mentor/Trainer
                              http://www.gerardmeszaros.com
                              1-403-827-2967

                              Author of the Jolt Productivity Award winning book "xUnit Test Patterns -
                              Refactoring Test Code" and winner of the "Programming with the Stars"
                              competition at Agile 2009. Learn more at http://xunitpatterns.com/index.html
                            • Adam Sroka
                              I can t remember who said it or the exact context, but I remember hearing that Ward and Kent really liked using cards for a variety of different things and
                              Message 14 of 23 , Mar 26 9:03 PM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                I can't remember who said it or the exact context, but I remember hearing that Ward and Kent really liked using cards for a variety of different things and that when stories came along it was just a natural fit. 

                                The CRC paper is no smoking gun, but it is evidence that using cards to think about the software they were creating was something they were already doing at least that early. 


                                On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 8:35 PM, Gerard Meszaros <yahoo@...> wrote:
                                 

                                I was a member of the Hillside Group along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham in
                                1995/1996 and was present at the first 4 PLOP conferences. The following is my
                                understanding of the origins of XP and User Stories based on my direct contacts
                                with them in that time frame.

                                CRC cards (co-invented by Ward and were used in domain modeling and represent a
                                single domain object class and its responsibilities and collaborators. (See
                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-responsibility-collaboration_card) The user
                                story card represents something the Customer wanted the Dev Team to build for
                                them. Other than both being written on cards, there is really no similarity. So
                                the 1989 OOPSLA paper is a red herring.

                                You might take a look at the PLOP 1995 paper called Episodes which is the first
                                writing I'm aware of that describes the process that came to be called eXtreme
                                Programming. (see http://c2.com/ppr/episodes.html) It doesn't mention User
                                Stories by name but refer to "Implied Requirement" and "Work Split" for the
                                seeds of the user story concept.

                                Best wishes,

                                Gerard



                                On 3/26/2013 8:09 PM, spbroi@... wrote:
                                > Just a bit more. In 1989 Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck (then at Apple) gave a
                                > paper at OOPSLA89which included the concept of the CRC card. I suspect that the

                                > CRC card evolved into the user story at CCC as a way to make it more
                                > 'user-friendly'. The concepts are similar.
                                > =steve
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
                                > To: agile-usability <agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                                > Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
                                > Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                                >
                                > I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                                > XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                                > memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                                > and Sprint Backlog Items.
                                >
                                > The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                                > early Scrum team folk to be sure.
                                >
                                > So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.
                                >
                                > The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                                > define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                                > something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                                > impression I had in the late 90's.
                                >
                                > Adrian
                                >
                                > On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@... <mailto:william.hudson@...>> wrote:
                                >> Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right:
                                >> Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that
                                >> reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real
                                >> date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be
                                >> the earlier date.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Regards,
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> William
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> From:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                                >> [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com?>] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine

                                >> Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15
                                >> To:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>

                                >> Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of
                                >> course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially
                                >> when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early
                                >> days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                                >>
                                >> Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> [snipped]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --
                                > http://quietstars.com adrianh@... <mailto:adrianh@...> twitter.com/adrianh

                                > t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >

                                --
                                Gerard Meszaros
                                Lean/Agile Coach/Mentor/Trainer
                                http://www.gerardmeszaros.com
                                1-403-827-2967

                                Author of the Jolt Productivity Award winning book "xUnit Test Patterns -
                                Refactoring Test Code" and winner of the "Programming with the Stars"
                                competition at Agile 2009. Learn more at http://xunitpatterns.com/index.html


                              • William Hudson
                                Many thanks to Steve, Gerard and Adam for their helpful additions. As an OO developer in the 1990 s I have heard of CRC cards, but it seems something of a jump
                                Message 15 of 23 , Mar 27 4:34 AM
                                • 0 Attachment

                                  Many thanks to Steve, Gerard and Adam for their helpful additions.

                                   

                                  As an OO developer in the 1990’s I have heard of CRC cards, but it seems something of a jump (conceptually) to user stories. However, I have come across a 1994 paper at Interact that uses the term ‘user stories’ in the correct sense. The authors of that paper have adapted the term ‘war stories’ used in a 1986 paper from Xerox Parc called ‘Narratives at Work’ (does *everything* we do today come from Xerox Parc<g>?)

                                   

                                  I’d be really interested to see some of the original user stories if possible. From a UCD perspective the shift to roles is not really a benefit to users so it would be good to plot that development. Email me at whudson@... (if you’d prefer not to post them to the list).

                                   

                                  Regards,

                                   

                                  William

                                   

                                  From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adam Sroka
                                  Sent: 27 March 2013 04:04
                                  To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                  Cc: spbroi@...
                                  Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                                   




                                  I can't remember who said it or the exact context, but I remember hearing that Ward and Kent really liked using cards for a variety of different things and that when stories came along it was just a natural fit. 

                                   

                                  The CRC paper is no smoking gun, but it is evidence that using cards to think about the software they were creating was something they were already doing at least that early. 

                                   

                                  On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 8:35 PM, Gerard Meszaros <yahoo@...> wrote:

                                   

                                  I was a member of the Hillside Group along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham in
                                  1995/1996 and was present at the first 4 PLOP conferences. The following is my
                                  understanding of the origins of XP and User Stories based on my direct contacts
                                  with them in that time frame.

                                  CRC cards (co-invented by Ward and were used in domain modeling and represent a
                                  single domain object class and its responsibilities and collaborators. (See
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-responsibility-collaboration_card) The user
                                  story card represents something the Customer wanted the Dev Team to build for
                                  them. Other than both being written on cards, there is really no similarity. So
                                  the 1989 OOPSLA paper is a red herring.

                                  You might take a look at the PLOP 1995 paper called Episodes which is the first
                                  writing I'm aware of that describes the process that came to be called eXtreme
                                  Programming. (see http://c2.com/ppr/episodes.html) It doesn't mention User
                                  Stories by name but refer to "Implied Requirement" and "Work Split" for the
                                  seeds of the user story concept.

                                  Best wishes,

                                  Gerard



                                  On 3/26/2013 8:09 PM, spbroi@... wrote:
                                  > Just a bit more. In 1989 Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck (then at Apple) gave a

                                  > paper at OOPSLA89which included the concept of the CRC card. I suspect that the


                                  > CRC card evolved into the user story at CCC as a way to make it more
                                  > 'user-friendly'. The concepts are similar.
                                  > =steve
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
                                  > To: agile-usability <agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>
                                  > Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
                                  > Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                                  >
                                  > I'm moderately the certain that the term "user story" came out of the
                                  > XP crowd (possibly via being called "customer stories" first - my
                                  > memory is poor). The Scrum world talked about Product Backlog Items
                                  > and Sprint Backlog Items.
                                  >
                                  > The things on the cards may well be similar though. You'd need to ask
                                  > early Scrum team folk to be sure.
                                  >
                                  > So you may be looking for the same practice with a different name.
                                  >
                                  > The focus on the card being the token for the conversations that
                                  > define the spec - rather than being the spec artefact in toto was
                                  > something that came from the XP folk more. At least that was the
                                  > impression I had in the late 90's.
                                  >
                                  > Adrian
                                  >

                                  > On 26 March 2013 11:48, William Hudson <william.hudson@... <mailto:william.hudson@...>> wrote:
                                  >> Hi, Larry. Nice to hear from you.
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> I have since come across a document entitled “User Stories Done Right:
                                  >> Requirements” by Jeff Sutherland. However, it has a copyright footer that
                                  >> reads ‘1993 – 2007’ so I’m trying to get in touch with Jeff to find the real
                                  >> date. Since the term is in the article title I’m supposing that it might be
                                  >> the earlier date.
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> Regards,
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> William
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> From:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>

                                  >> [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com?>] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine


                                  >> Sent: 26 March 2013 11:15

                                  >> To:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com>


                                  >> Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> AFAIK, Kent Beck first introduced the term with its contemporary usage. Of
                                  >> course, meanings evolve, and the user stories of the new century, especially
                                  >> when written by the IxD team, are quite different from those from the early
                                  >> days, which were far less focused and informed by IxD concerns.
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> ~~Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                                  >>
                                  >> Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> [snipped]
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --

                                  > http://quietstars.com adrianh@... <mailto:adrianh@...> twitter.com/adrianh


                                  > t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

                                  --
                                  Gerard Meszaros
                                  Lean/Agile Coach/Mentor/Trainer
                                  http://www.gerardmeszaros.com
                                  1-403-827-2967

                                  Author of the Jolt Productivity Award winning book "xUnit Test Patterns -
                                  Refactoring Test Code" and winner of the "Programming with the Stars"
                                  competition at Agile 2009. Learn more at http://xunitpatterns.com/index.html

                                   




                                • Adrian Howard
                                  Hey William, ... That s an interesting statement to me. Could you expand upon it? Adrian -- http://quietstars.com adrianh@quietstars.com
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Mar 27 4:38 AM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hey William,

                                    On 27 March 2013 11:34, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                                    > I’d be really interested to see some of the original user stories if
                                    > possible. From a UCD perspective the shift to roles is not really a benefit
                                    > to users so it would be good to plot that development.

                                    That's an interesting statement to me. Could you expand upon it?

                                    Adrian
                                    --
                                    http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                                    t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                  • William Hudson
                                    A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needs of the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the inter-role
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Mar 27 5:03 AM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needs of
                                      the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the
                                      inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict
                                      and so on. Of course, we have Ivar Jacobson and use cases to thank for
                                      roles, and they're not entirely without merit, but someone filling role A in
                                      one context of use may have quite different needs to someone filling the
                                      same role in a different context.

                                      Regards,

                                      William


                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                      [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
                                      Sent: 27 March 2013 11:39
                                      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                                      Hey William,

                                      On 27 March 2013 11:34, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                                      > I'd be really interested to see some of the original user stories if
                                      > possible. From a UCD perspective the shift to roles is not really a
                                      > benefit to users so it would be good to plot that development.

                                      That's an interesting statement to me. Could you expand upon it?

                                      Adrian
                                      --
                                      http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                                      t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh


                                      ------------------------------------

                                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    • Adrian Howard
                                      I d question whether the role slot in user stories often gets used in that way. The use-case role and the user story role tend to be used fairly
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Mar 27 5:10 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        I'd question whether the role slot in user stories often gets used in
                                        that way. The use-case "role" and the user story "role" tend to be
                                        used fairly differently in my experience.

                                        We hit the same name - different usage problem again.

                                        They're normally much closer to customer archetypes / persona in my
                                        experience (indeed most agile ux folk I know who adopt the story
                                        format slot persona into the role hole).

                                        Cheers,

                                        Adrian

                                        On 27 March 2013 12:03, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                                        > A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needs of
                                        > the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the
                                        > inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict
                                        > and so on. Of course, we have Ivar Jacobson and use cases to thank for
                                        > roles, and they're not entirely without merit, but someone filling role A in
                                        > one context of use may have quite different needs to someone filling the
                                        > same role in a different context.
                                        >
                                        > Regards,
                                        >
                                        > William
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                        > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
                                        > Sent: 27 March 2013 11:39
                                        > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories
                                        >
                                        > Hey William,
                                        >
                                        > On 27 March 2013 11:34, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                                        >> I'd be really interested to see some of the original user stories if
                                        >> possible. From a UCD perspective the shift to roles is not really a
                                        >> benefit to users so it would be good to plot that development.
                                        >
                                        > That's an interesting statement to me. Could you expand upon it?
                                        >
                                        > Adrian
                                        > --
                                        > http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                                        > t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ------------------------------------
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >



                                        --
                                        http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                                        t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                      • William Hudson
                                        Agilists who know little or nothing about usability/UCD do try to take roles literally. I was talking with a client just a couple of weeks ago who pointed this
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Mar 27 5:22 AM
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Agilists who know little or nothing about usability/UCD do try to take roles
                                          literally. I was talking with a client just a couple of weeks ago who
                                          pointed this out as a problem with their introduction of UX design.

                                          Regards,

                                          William


                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                          [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
                                          Sent: 27 March 2013 12:11
                                          To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                                          I'd question whether the role slot in user stories often gets used in that
                                          way. The use-case "role" and the user story "role" tend to be used fairly
                                          differently in my experience.

                                          We hit the same name - different usage problem again.

                                          They're normally much closer to customer archetypes / persona in my
                                          experience (indeed most agile ux folk I know who adopt the story format slot
                                          persona into the role hole).

                                          Cheers,

                                          Adrian

                                          [snipped]
                                        • Adrian Howard
                                          ... My experiences differ. It does happen - of course - but my experiences of teams, even those without UX input, is that the roles are more often treated as
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Mar 27 5:29 AM
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            On 27 March 2013 12:22, William Hudson <william.hudson@...> wrote:
                                            > Agilists who know little or nothing about usability/UCD do try to take roles
                                            > literally. I was talking with a client just a couple of weeks ago who
                                            > pointed this out as a problem with their introduction of UX design.

                                            My experiences differ.

                                            It does happen - of course - but my experiences of teams, even those
                                            without UX input, is that the roles are more often treated as market
                                            segments / archetypes / etc.

                                            They're certainly seem to treated much more generally than use-case type roles.

                                            Possibly you're seeing teams who are primarily transferring from
                                            use-cases to stories? In those situations it's certainly a common
                                            problem.

                                            Cheers,

                                            Adrian
                                            --
                                            http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                                            t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward pinboard.in/u:adrianh
                                          • Larry Constantine
                                            ... the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict and so on.
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Mar 27 6:05 AM
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              William said:

                                              > A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needs of
                                              the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the
                                              inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict
                                              and so on. Of course, we have Ivar Jacobson and use cases to thank for
                                              roles, and they're not entirely without merit, but someone filling role A in
                                              one context of use may have quite different needs to someone filling the
                                              same role in a different context. <

                                              The user role concept traces back to contributions from Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
                                              and was developed and elaborated in usage-centered design and later
                                              model-driven activity-centered design (Constantine and Lockwood). A role is
                                              a relationship between users and a system or service and is defined (ala
                                              Wirfs-Brock) by a characteristic set of needs, expectations, interests, and
                                              responsibilities in relation to the system/service and in the context of the
                                              activity in which the user is participating. As such, a user role focuses
                                              precisely on those issues most salient to effective interaction design (see
                                              my chapter in The Persona Lifecycle for persuasive support). That it blurs
                                              or compresses "individual differences" is precisely why it is a more compact
                                              and efficient model, particularly for agile design and development.
                                              Individual incumbents in a role vary immensely; the role itself is are far
                                              less variable. Individuals are extremely complicated; roles are far simpler.
                                              A well-formulated role absolutely does make allowance for the needs of the
                                              individual, but not as an individual, not as a person, but rather as an
                                              individual in a particular activity and in a particular relationship to a
                                              designed artifact.

                                              The critical issue in modeling for agile IxD/UxD is to model only what is
                                              most important to model, compactly and concisely, to focus on what is likely
                                              to yield the biggest payoff in guidance toward an effective design in the
                                              least amount of time. The templated user role profiles employed in
                                              usage-centered design and human activity modeling do just that,
                                              concentrating the modeler/designer's attention on those things that are most
                                              likely to directly impact and shape the design.

                                              The issues you mention-role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role
                                              conflict-are interesting from an intellectual standpoint and often play some
                                              part in a complete analysis of human activity (we incorporate them in our
                                              application of activity-theory to educational research, for instance), but
                                              the relationship of the actor in role to the designed artifact is far more
                                              relevant to designing that system or service. Inter-role issues that may be
                                              important in organizational dynamics or social psychology are typically far
                                              less central to getting the design right.

                                              In the most recent incarnation of the user role profile that we use in
                                              model-driven agile design (not yet written up), we have reduced the template
                                              further to include just 3 categories (ORB): Orientation, Responsibilities,
                                              and Background. Orientation and attitude of the actor in role to focal
                                              activities and to the designed artifact; Responsibilities of the actor in
                                              role within focal activities and with the designed artifact; Background
                                              characteristics expected in relation to use of the designed artifact within
                                              focal activities. This is a vast simplification from the concept of role in
                                              activity theory and role theory, but it zeroes in on the stuff that is most
                                              likely to make a difference, covering the bases on a single index card.

                                              Modeling efficiency and design leverage are behind most of my work and the
                                              usage/activity-centered design community. It is why we favor concise role
                                              profiles over the decorative embellishments of personas, why essential use
                                              cases win out over traditional concrete use cases and scenarios.

                                              Psychologists and humanists can plead for attention to the individual, but,
                                              as Don Norman and I pointed out some years ago, that is precisely the
                                              problem. It is the focus on humans, on individuals, that diverts our
                                              attention from the more important focus on what people are doing and trying
                                              to do, that is, on activity as mediated by designed artifacts. This badly
                                              needed shift in focus was behind my development of human activity modeling
                                              (with Don's encouragement and contributions) and then its adaptation to
                                              agile design and development. We drive AD&D by activity models not to
                                              capture a complete analysis embodied in those models but to move as quickly
                                              and efficiently as possible toward good designs. That means concentrating on
                                              roles and activities and glossing over stuff that is less critical to speedy
                                              solutions.

                                              Prof. Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                                              Universidade da Madeira | Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
                                            • William Hudson
                                              Thanks, Larry. Very interesting. Do you know when Rebecca first started talking about roles? I have a paper here from Jacobson dated 1987 that describes their
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Mar 27 7:09 AM
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                                                Thanks, Larry. Very interesting. Do you know when Rebecca first started
                                                talking about roles? I have a paper here from Jacobson dated 1987 that
                                                describes their use in OO development.

                                                BTW, I wasn't suggesting that designers of information systems should
                                                thoroughly research roles and their interrelationships. My point is more
                                                that roles are not a very useful focus of attention in many systems.

                                                Regards,

                                                William


                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                                [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Constantine
                                                Sent: 27 March 2013 13:06
                                                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Origins of user stories

                                                William said:

                                                > A role is a systemizing concept so really makes no allowance for needs
                                                > of
                                                the individual. Using it to represent users glosses over many of the
                                                inter-role issues like role ambiguity, role incompatibility, role conflict
                                                and so on. Of course, we have Ivar Jacobson and use cases to thank for
                                                roles, and they're not entirely without merit, but someone filling role A in
                                                one context of use may have quite different needs to someone filling the
                                                same role in a different context. <

                                                The user role concept traces back to contributions from Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
                                                and was developed and elaborated in usage-centered design and later
                                                model-driven activity-centered design (Constantine and Lockwood). A role is
                                                a relationship between users and a system or service and is defined (ala
                                                Wirfs-Brock) by a characteristic set of needs, expectations, interests, and
                                                responsibilities in relation to the system/service and in the context of the
                                                activity in which the user is participating. As such, a user role focuses
                                                precisely on those issues most salient to effective interaction design (see
                                                my chapter in The Persona Lifecycle for persuasive support). That it blurs
                                                or compresses "individual differences" is precisely why it is a more compact
                                                and efficient model, particularly for agile design and development.
                                                Individual incumbents in a role vary immensely; the role itself is are far
                                                less variable. Individuals are extremely complicated; roles are far simpler.
                                                A well-formulated role absolutely does make allowance for the needs of the
                                                individual, but not as an individual, not as a person, but rather as an
                                                individual in a particular activity and in a particular relationship to a
                                                designed artifact.

                                                [snipped]
                                              • Gerard Meszaros
                                                ... Yes, they used cards for all sorts of purposes including organizing presentations by putting each thing they wanted to talk about onto a card. Easy to
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Mar 27 8:57 AM
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                                                  On 3/26/2013 10:03 PM, Adam Sroka wrote:
                                                  > I can't remember who said it or the exact context, but I remember hearing that
                                                  > Ward and Kent really liked using cards for a variety of different things and
                                                  > that when stories came along it was just a natural fit.
                                                  >
                                                  >

                                                  Yes, they used cards for all sorts of purposes including organizing
                                                  presentations by putting each thing they wanted to talk about onto a card. Easy
                                                  to reorganize the content simply by moving the card. Other agilist/OO people
                                                  have adopted this style of presentation "notes" most notably (Uncle) Bob Martin
                                                  (who rarely uses visuals in presentation) and Ron Jeffries (another CCC team
                                                  member.)

                                                  Gerard

                                                  --
                                                  Gerard Meszaros
                                                  Lean/Agile Coach/Mentor/Trainer
                                                  http://www.gerardmeszaros.com
                                                  1-403-827-2967

                                                  Author of the Jolt Productivity Award winning book "xUnit Test Patterns -
                                                  Refactoring Test Code" and winner of the "Programming with the Stars"
                                                  competition at Agile 2009. Learn more at http://xunitpatterns.com/index.html
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