Integrating Design into Agile with User Story Mapping

Jeff Patton · Monday, October 31 · 8:30am – 5:30pm · in Pacific E

With a little care and feeding, agile and design can play nice together. Story mapping seamlessly integrates a cohesive design strategy into the agile process.

Gain a solid understanding of the holistic user journey. Craft powerful user stories that address users’ biggest pain points and unmet needs.

Involve your entire team in the product discovery and backlog prioritization. Successfully integrate design activities into your product development process.

Jeff is the best at teaching how to bring a holistic design approach into a fully functional (or sometimes dysfunctional) agile process.

The Day’s Agenda


Outlining the user journey with story maps

  • Map the user actions that encompass the user experience.
  • Pinpoint the major pain points and opportunities in the user journey.
  • Focus on user behavior, not product ideas and features.

Crafting actionable user stories

  • Create user stories that prioritize shared understanding over documentation.
  • Shift from only using small stories assigned before sprints to using stories situation specific for whole projects and features.
  • Revisit the user journey to identify product solutions.


Evaluating product ideas using Personas and the Opportunity Canvas

  • Prioritize feature requests—and kill bad ideas—with an Opportunity Canvas.
  • Guarantee that all backlog items solve real problems.
  • Brainstorm product capabilities that address the persona’s most important activities and challenges.

Identifying product opportunities with a Minimal Viable Solution

  • Determine the MVP, the smallest product solution that reaches the desired outcome.
  • Ship and evaluate your solution with customer development partners.
  • Use Story Mapping to identify an iterative and incremental development strategy.

Achieve Delightful Product Outcomes

Create user stories addressing the most critical problems

Agile teams often get lost in the weeds as they tackle a sprint’s small, isolated user stories. Story maps ensure your team won’t lose sight of the big picture.

Successfully integrate design activities into your agile development process

A thoughtful approach to blending the activities of design with the agile development process can increase velocity and reduce rework.

Move beyond a backlog jammed up with unclear (and possibly unwanted) product features

By taking advantage of a Story Map and an Opportunity Canvas, your product team will efficiently prioritize opportunities in the roadmap.

You’ll see how to:

  • Teach your team how to generate a data-rich story map
  • Identify the core team with Product, UX, and Engineering representation
  • Use sticky notes and cards to map out your product experience
  • Establish an actionable agile backlog that solves real user problems
  • Collaborate with the entire product team to innovative on product ideas
  • Prioritize product features with an opportunity canvas

Learn a better way to work with Agile User Stories

Get team members engaged in the backlog prioritization

Using story maps, the product team directly engages with users and internalizes their pain points. There is no better way to encourage empathy and optimize the user experience.

Ensure that design work takes center stage in the product development process

A story map brings high visibility to design and discovery work and guarantees the team keeps the user at the forefront of decision making.

Involve your team members in the day-to-day product discovery activities

Achieve buy-in by involving stakeholders when generating story maps, creating personas, and evaluating the opportunity canvas.

Influence product decisions with the right user stories

Move beyond traditional user stories that only tackle product enhancements in bite-sized, disjointed chunks.

Reframe your product backlog to deliver a delightful and holistic user experience

Reframe your product backlog to deliver a delightful and holistic user experience

Jeff Patton

Photo of Jeff Patton

Here’s what Jared says about why he chose Jeff for UI21…

We can’t think of anyone we’d rather talk to about making agile and design work together than Jeff Patton. Since the ’90s, he’s been focused on what it takes to make delightful and useful software. He figured out then that you needed to combine a deep understanding of the user with the desire to produce top quality products.

In 2000, he had the opportunity to be working for one of the first companies to adapt the Extreme Programming approach to commercial product development. This gave him a strong appreciation for the discipline that underlies agile development processes. He had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of techniques to merge design practice into agile, and the result is a wealth of expertise on what works and what doesn’t.

This isn’t Jeff’s first time speaking to an User Interface Conference audience. Every time he’s appeared before, the audience has walked away with new knowledge, expertise, and respect for what agile can bring to great software processes. More importantly, they’ve gone away knowing exactly how to make their own development process produce better quality user experiences. That’ll happen to you too! Don’t miss out on Jeff’s workshop.

On Tuesday, Jeff will give a featured talk, Balancing Continuous Discovery And Delivery.

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