According to Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, 95% of new products launched each year fail. One of the main reasons for this failure rate is companies launching products without understanding customer wants and needs. This underscores the importance of user stories in product development. User stories guide developers on what their products are, who will use them and why end-users would want them. The best user story can help developers come up with products that provide value to customers through features conceptualized from the perspective of customers.
This article will introduce you to user story software that can help you develop products that exceed your customers’ expectations and make product development a breeze.
The Best User Story Software Solutions
Here’s the list of the best user story apps I’ll cover in this article.
- Agile User Story Map for JIRA
- Easy Agile
What do I look for when I select the best user story platforms? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): User story tools should incorporate a visual or data-based answer to the query, “[customer] wants [outcome] in order to [reason].” The tool should make it easy to brainstorm, plot, share, and collaborate on this formula.
- Usability: User story software should be easy to use by and master so product developers can dive right in and start making user stories instead of spending time trying to master the software.
- Integrations: Product development teams use a lot of other productivity tools so I look for a user story software that works great with other product development and productivity tools.
- Value for $: A user story software shouldn’t be too expensive so I look for a user story software with great features at a reasonable cost.
User Story Software: Key Features
- Roadmapping: Gives users a visual representation of product development timeline.
- Backlog management: Helps track product features on a product roadmap for prioritization.
- User personas: Allows users to view products from the perspective of customers from different demographics to assess how different customer groups will use and benefit from a product.
- Feedback management: Allows product managers to collect and store feedback and ideas from end users, team members, and stakeholders.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best User Story Solutions
Here’s a brief description of each user story system to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
1. Miro – User story solution that allows an unlimited number of team members
Miro is a digital whiteboard you can use on various projects like brainstorming, webinars, remote meetings, and Agile workflows. It has video conferencing and screen sharing features to make online meetings more engaging and informative. It also has many pre-built templates you can use on almost any type of project, helping you launch projects quickly.
Miro is the best user story software for working on multiple projects because it allows an unlimited number of team members, ensuring that you can deliver products even when pressed for time. With an unlimited number of team members, you have the luxury of bringing in as much talent as you need onboard, ensuring that you have a specialist for unique functionalities you want to implement. Having an unlimited number of team members also means you can pull out team members and reassign them on other projects without affecting productivity on the current project greatly.
Miro integrates with other productivity and product management tools like Jira Cards, Google Drive, Slack, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Active Directory.
Miro pricing starts at $8/user/month.
2. StoriesOnBoard – User story software with customizable personas during user story mapping
If you want to ensure that your product can cater to the needs of your visitors then StoriesOnBoard is the best user story software for you because it has customizable templates you can use. You can use StoriesOnBoard to assign roles, behaviors, and needs to team members giving you a better idea of how future users will use and benefit from your product. StoriesOnBoard’s personas can also help you unearth potential opportunities to add features or use them on other products.
StoriesOnBoard allows the integration of your favorite tools like Google Chrome, Zapier, Trello, GitHub, G Suite, and others.
StoriesOnBoard pricing starts at $9/user/month, and they offer a free 14-day trial.
3. Agile User Story Map for JIRA – User story software with a drag and drop functionality to visualize goals & steps
Agile User Story Map for JIRA is a user story mapping tool that supports product backlog refinement, allowing you to quickly assess tasks that need completion so you can conduct follow-ups on team members. It also lets users see dependencies to prioritize tasks and promote accountability. The software uses a Gantt-like timeline, giving you a birds-eye view of your project, so you know if you need more human resources or adjust your budget to meet deadlines.
If you need a user story software that’s easy to use even for new users, then Agile User Story Map for JIRA by DevSamurai is an excellent choice because of its drag and drop functionality. You can add and remove elements with a simple action making the software easy to use and customize. This feature allows you to change, add or remove elements as you discover vulnerabilities and opportunities during the different stages of product development.
Agile User Story Map for JIRA is free for up to 10 users, while the pricing of the paid version starts at $13.75/11 users/month.
4. Craft.io – User story software with a feedback portal for collecting and consolidating ideas and feedbacks
Craft.io is a product management software that product managers can use to manage all stages of product development. This agile project management platform allows users to discover new ideas, collaborate, and create product prototypes. It automatically syncs with Google Drive and JIRA so developers can concentrate on their assigned tasks instead of updating documents constantly.
Craft.io is the best user story software to ensure the delivery of all projects because of its capacity planning feature. The software allows you to evaluate the availability of resources and the allocation of team members giving you a better idea on how to redistribute resources for new projects. You can use the software to simulate how adjusting resources will affect project delivery so you can quickly adjust to unexpected changes.
Craft.io integrates with other development and feedback tools, including Gitlab, Google Workspace, Dropbox, Jira, and Microsoft Active Directory.
Craft.io pricing starts at $49/user/month, and they offer a 14-day free trial.
5. Productboard – User story software with a prioritization feature to help in decision making
Productboard is a product management platform to help product managers understand their customers’ needs for consideration during product development. It has customizable roadmaps with filtering options letting users identify project goals and achievements easily. Productboard also allows users to tailor roadmaps to different audiences like end-users and stakeholders making them easier to understand.
If you want a user story software to help you determine the features important to end-users, then Productboard’s prioritization feature can help you out. Productboard allows end-users to assign scores to product features, so developers know which features to concentrate on and which ones they need to develop further. You can also use Productboard to identify key features that end-users find critical to ensure that you include them in future products.
Productboard integrates with other product development and collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, Salesforce, and Zendesk.
Productboard pricing starts at $20/user/month and offers a 15-day free trial.
6. Easy Agile– User story software with a sprint and version planning feature
Easy Agile is a user story software that allows product developers to build simple yet collaborative story maps in Jira. The software allows users to map out user journeys alongside agile boards in Jira. Product devs can add new or existing stories to the story map and prioritize them according to their users’ value.
Easy Agile is the best user story software to break down your user story into smaller and more manageable sections because it has a sprint planning feature. It gives the product owner or scrum master a clearer idea of the product timeline to prevent delays. Easy Agile also has a version planning feature giving product developers the freedom to experiment with new features without worrying about damaging the active version or model.
Easy Agile pricing starts at $8,000/year/up to 50 users, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
7. Cardboard– User story software with a wide variety of templates for different projects
Cardboard is an online whiteboard that your development team can use to create user stories during product development. You can use Cardboard to invite remote team members for real-time collaboration, ensuring that writing user stories becomes a team effort. Cardboard has a drag and drop functionality, making it user-friendly and reducing the learning curve for new users.
Cardboard is an ideal user story software that promotes accountability because it has a swimlanes and dividers feature. Cardboard’s swimlanes and dividers can help users visually distinguish who is responsible for each step in the project, giving them a better idea on who to collaborate with for interconnected steps or tasks. This feature can also help promote accountability because users can visualize how delays on certain steps can impact the overall progress of a project.
Cardboard integrates with other software development tools like Trello, Azure DevOps, VersionOne, and Confluence.
Cardboard pricing starts at $8.50/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
8. Avion – User story software that you can use to create customizable workflows
Avion is a user story mapping tool for agile software development that allows you to visualize your product by building detailed user journeys. Users attach files and documents to user stories, ensuring other team members have access to critical documents. Avion gives your team visibility not just of the user story roadmap but all changes in criteria ensuring that you’re all on the same page throughout the product development process.
If you frequently handle sensitive product development projects then Avion is the best user story software for you because of its role-based access control. This feature enables administrators to define the level of access that team members have according to their roles. With Avion’s access control feature, you can bring in outside talent or freelancers in for specific projects without worrying about them accessing sensitive information not essential to their roles.
Avion integrates with other product and software development tools like Jira Cloud, Jira Server, Trello, GitHub, Zenhub, etc.
Avion pricing starts at $15.75/first three users/month, and they offer a 14-day free trial.
9. Featmap – Open source user story software that you can customize to meet your needs
Featmap is an open-source user story software to help you envision what actions the ideal user might take when interacting with your product. You can use Featmap to assign user personas to team members to capture the behaviors and needs of your end-users, allowing you to create user-centric products. Featmap allows you to share your product vision with team members and stakeholders with unlimited guest accounts (read-only).
Featmap is the best user story software for you if you want to customize it to meet your team’s unique needs because it is open-source software. As open-source software, you can add or remove features depending on your needs to have a user story software with all the critical features and none of the extra ones you don’t need. You can host the software on your own server to save money and increase the security level of your products.
Featmap pricing starts at $9/editor/month and offers a 15-day free trial.
10. Featuremap – Open source user story software with an on-premise version
Featuremap is a user story mapping software to structure content and set priorities. You can use the software to plan several steps ahead, allowing you to anticipate issues and plan contingencies. Featuremap also allows you to break down large tasks into smaller ones to make them easier to complete and avoid overwhelming team members.
Featuremap is the best user story software for users who prefer an on-premise tool that works well even in areas where internet connectivity is unstable. Being an on-premise tool also means that the lack of internet connection won’t delay product development because users can still access crucial files and documents. Featuremap is also an excellent option for developing critical products because it is more secure compared to user story software that relies on cloud storage.
Featuremap has a free version, and the pricing of the paid version starts at $6/user/month. They offer a free two-week trial.
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Improving user experience one user story at a time
Every good product starts with a user story. User stories provide product developers with a precise idea on what they need to build, for whom they are building it and why they are building it. With the help of excellent user story software, developers can look at their products from the standpoint of end-users to ensure excellent user experience and inspire brand loyalty.
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