We will sometimes get hung up on labels, but whether you call them scenarios or journey maps, or user flows; what I’m referring to here is the situation in which someone is engaging with your product.
Kim Goodwin had a great conversation with Jared Spool on scenario-driven design here. It’s only 30 minutes and well worth listening to, but here is the transcript if you prefer the written word.
Why should you care about scenarios?
Moore’s Law is still holding and as technology is rapidly advancing, we cannot accurately predict how tomorrow will solve today’s problems. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect everything we build today to work for tomorrow’s users.
This is where I feel like scenarios can give us an edge in our design: by increasing the time to obsolescence.
If we design for features first (without considering the scenario), then we’ve really only addressed the symptom of the user’s true problem. That means all someone else has to do is actually solve the problem and their product will be superior, even if we have the better features. Users don’t want features, they want solutions to their problems.