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The actor, the narrative and the goal

Long-time readers will know of my admiration for the UK government’s websites, or at least all of them I can remember using in recent years. Their clarity and efficiency is excellent, but I doubt it can be dictated or easily quality controlled from the top. I suspect they’re good because there are some great guidelines around. And wouldn’t you know it, at least some of those guidelines are public.

Take this document, Writing User Stories, for example. It states: “You must use user stories when building your service – they’re essential to building and running a service that meets user needs.”

This means that a service needs to be described by means of defining the actor, the narrative and the goal. Who is the user? What does the user want to do? And why does the user want to do this?

So, think of different customers. Answer those three questions. And use these answers to write pages for your website.

Then make those pages the main offerings on your home page.

So you might have: “I’m a design engineer at a sprocket machinery manufacturer, I want to know if you can provide me with a standards-compatible blue widget, because the old standards are being deprecated”. Simple request, right? But does your website home page get the user to the answer (and making an enquiry) quickly and easily?