What to call these scenarios/requirements?


Hi all,

I have a question regarding scenarios and requirements. In addition to writing complete scenarios (full stories), I have found it very helpful to write only sentence-long scenarios/requirements for telling about users’ wishes. For example, I was working on an application for selecting among five thousand plants from a nursery. After having created a few personas, I wrote sentences like this:

“Adam wants a rather high tree to keep out the sun during summertime.”
“Lynda wants red flowers that flower as long as possible throughout the summer.”

I created about thirty of these, and then checked my prototype against these sentences.

I don’t know what these should be called; both “scenarios” and “requirements” sound a little off. I just call them “wishes” or “user wishes”. Is there a correct term that I’m missing here?

Also, in the Head First book on OOAD a scenario is (once again) a very short description. In an example where a gameboard maker application is developed, two example scenarios are as follows:
“The game designer creates a new board 8 squares wide by 10 squares high.”
“Player 1 kills Player 2’s troops at (4, 5) so the board removes Player 2’s troops from that tile.”

The upside of using this short manner of writing scenarios is emphasized: “…when you’re writing use cases, putting together a requirements list, and using lots of scenarios to chart out all the paths through a use case.”

It seems like the OOAD book and I are using scenarios somewhat the same way – to ensure no feature is overlooked. However, this is not how they are explained in IxD literature, where they are much longer and cover just one out of many possible complete interactions with a system. (A difference between my “user wishes” and the “scenarios” of the book is that I make them personal, as I would with a traditional scenario.)

I’d really appreciate if someone could explain what I’m doing. :slight_smile:



Maybe have a look at something like Gherkin syntax:

Using your example:

As a customer at a nursery I want to be able to identify and buy a plant so that it meets the needs of my garden.

Scenario: Adam buys tree
Given Adam is at the nursery
And: he is aware of the species of tree he wants
And: the nursery stocks the tree
And: it is easily identifyable
When: Adam buys and plants the tree
Then: the plant meets the needs of his garden

Gherkin may be of interest because it can be interpreted by other teams to help produce things like functional specs, test cases etc.

Hope this helps.



Thanks so much for your response! Yes, I think that the Gherkin syntax comes close. It’s a little more verbose than my short sentences, but it has the benefit of giving more detailed instructions for developers.

Maybe there is a longer gap in thought though, I mean from brain to finished “scenario”. For a project I wrote down say twenty sentences like the one I showed you, it almost no time (think mindmapping speed). Doing the same thing in Gherkin syntax would add an additional thought process and also slow down the work a bit.

Perhaps these two ways could be linked!
(a is for designers, b for developers)

  1. Create a few personas.
  2. Write down the sentences (“user wishes”)
    3 a) Test your prototypes against the user wishes. Done! (Next iteration here)
    3 b) Create Gherkin syntax from these user wishes.
    4 b) Code. Done! (Next iteration here)

Thanks again,



I create personas and high level user journeys and maybe sketch out a few paper prototypes, then I’ll go in and have a chat with tech and business and we’ll all flesh out the gherkin and whack 'em into Jira


I do not understand what do you want what a time programming code or ready made real time showing program which on please let us know ok bye.


Hi colmcq,

I’m a novice UX designer and I’m trying to develop a process for breaking down poorly scoped tasks from my PMs into a prioritized list of reasonably sized tasks that can be completed within a 2 week sprint.

Can you elaborate a bit on your process for converting user journeys > gherkin features then gherkin features > Jira tasks. Does each gherkin feature get its own separate Jira task?