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A simulation or a hypothetical narrative that describes how a user might interact with a product or service and accomplish a particular task.


  • A way of explaining or bringing to life a vision for a future-state user experience.
  • A description of a situation that can be used during visioning and testing.

Use when

  • You want to describe to test participants how people might experience your service or product.
  • Testing a prototype during a user testing activity.

User scenarios are not

  • User stories – User stories are descriptions of user requirements and are collected to build a backlog of work to be completed to develop the product or service.


User scenarios are a great way to help a test participant imagine themselves in a situation and complete a task using a prototype. It’s important to test enough user scenarios to check whether your prototype caters to all your user needs. Scenarios are also critical for testing feasibility.

Key terminology

Scenario: A realistic situation in which a user might find themselves, where the user has defined goals, motivations, constraints and preferences.

Reviewed 15 April 2020

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