When you map out user stories for your site, you increase the understanding of the system, not just for your organization, but for your users that want to have organized data, either for informational or transactional purposes, a site needs a thorough high-level view of its use case.
Imagine if you build a site without a story, you would be fitting in with 99.9999% of all the web! You must have a user story that makes others understand the flow of information, and that means a story that your site is narrating at a subconscious level to users.
It is important to understand this concept because people comprehend stories more than anything, we are hardwired to stories.
Look at one of the best movies of all times, Star Wars, a movie with a hero that is pushing forward obstacle after obstacle, going through training, problems, and most importantly, he keeps winning because he never gave up, even without one hand!
Without a user or “hero” journey, the journey can become complex or you could lose valuable users to convert or have a transaction, that is why you must always adapt your content strategy with user story mapping.
But how would you do that? I think one important concept would be internal linking, please do not abuse this strategy as it is imperative to link from one resource to another, but do it eloquently and do it in order to help users, not just for search engine purposes.
You can connect one concept with another so the user can interact in a more approachable way with your content and won’t get stuck without converting, remember that most online sites have objectives in place, and one objective is to let the user choose his story by crafting it with confidence and consistency.
Understand your personas and you can maximize the user journey to become flawless, link to resources, share slides, share outside content that is valuable and relevant to them, and make them the hero of your site!
With these strategies in mind, you can create multiple user journeys to your site, there are the researchers, there are the low-hanging fruits, there are the by-now users, there are the skeptics, and there are plenty more types of users that you could be optimizing they journey for them, make the journey as easy as possible.
Just follow the yellow brick road! It has to be as simple as that. No staircases or ramps, just follow the flow of the story and they will come to you.
This allows space for them to not just understand your site and information architecture, but to be a simple guide for them to build a story that they become the hero of the site because they are!
Allowing the user to become the hero of the site, means that they are in control of the content and understand what they need and what they don’t need, like trimming the information to their specific needs.
Everyone understands the story of Star Wars because it focuses on the journey of the hero, which is Luke Skywalker, I call them story architects because it is a must nowadays to make things that have a great story behind them.
Another thing to understand is to be thoughtful of the time and energy that the “hero” or user is doing upon entering your site.
You do not want to bombard them with everything you have, the content must be easy to access and search. Remember that if they feel that they are in control of your site it will be easier for them to find what they are searching for.
That is why it is important to keep content available and accessible to everyone that wants that information and process it with a profound understanding of the subject, it could be from building a spaceship or how to water plants, it does not matter what it is, as long as it is broken down so it is easy to understand and consume the information/data.
By designing your site to be optimized for users as if they were heroes, one can greatly accelerate how the information is processed and understood by them. This increases the understanding of the web system and helps achieve the user’s goals, as it could be reading an article, downloading a PDF, watching a video, filling out a contact us form, etc.
Remember that a site needs a story to tell and to be comprehended by both the site managers and the users so they are both aligned with user and business objectives.