Setting the Scene: 3 Scenarios to Improve UX

March 30, 2015In Framework, Usability5 Minutes

Understanding why a specific user or group comes to your website is critical when designing an interface and engaging in usability testing. Gathering all of this information both saves you valuable time in what could be a tedious, grueling process, as well as gathering informative research that can assist in structuring your website to formulate the best user-brand fit.

Scenarios describe the context behind why your site was approached and note any goals that need to be achieved to perfect the user experience. These scenarios come in different shapes and sizes, creating a relatable story that allows designers to step back and consider the problem from the audience’s perspective.

When writing up the scenarios, consider the following questions: Who is the user? Why does he/she use your website? What does he/she want to accomplish? What are the goals? Understand what motivates your user and what their expectations are of your website. Using these personas will provide a reflection of actual user groups that would approach your brand, and you may better understand how to increase user satisfaction.

There are three different types of scenarios you can construct to get a clearer picture of what your user requires:


These situations state what the user wants to do but do not include any details on how he/she would progress through the scenario. Instead of leading the user through a certain route, this method allows the designer to see how their audience would navigate through the site/process independently. These scenarios are great for usability testing, giving the participants the reason or goals for interacting with the website but allowing them to take their own path toward that goal.


This method gives the user more details about the scenario, giving a more well-rounded picture of the users and any characteristics that may have an effect on site interaction. They are not aware of every step yet, as that is the next level. Instead, they become familiar with their audience and cater that experience to them. Once they know this info, the designers have the means to develop a web interface, content, and site functions that will make the experience more smooth and comfortable.

Full Scale Task

The full scale task scenario includes all of the steps that are necessary to complete the task. There are two ways that it can develop: it may provide every single step of the process that the user takes to accomplish the intended goal, or it may glance in from the other perspective and detail exactly how the designer plans to set up the site for intended users.

Once you have become familiar with the three levels of scenarios, could you consider how to implement them within website design? Before you come across the scenario to use, please make a list of the most common reasons your intended users have for visiting your website and what goals they want to accomplish once they get there. These scenarios can work in tandem with the above-mentioned personas to create a more comprehensive snapshot of your users’ intentions. What characteristics does your user have that affect site interaction, and what does this person hope to achieve by using your site?

Ensure that this questioning process comes before any scenario construction to capitalize on time. By concentrating your attention on your user’s goals and intentions rather than an on-site organization, you can structure the site without wasting time or deliberating on what content and graphics should be included. The users decide for you, and you have the best possible user experience and interface.

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