Scenarios in Practice

Scenarios have been discussed in the HCI literature since at least 1992. Since then, they have
come into the mainstream: There are books and tutorials on the topic; every published UCD
method incorporates them in some form. The current challenge facing the scenario community is
making scenario usage more effective and efficient in industry projects. This workshop fills that
need by focusing on "scenarios in practice" as opposed to "the theory of scenarios" or "anything
about scenarios".

Although we use the term "scenarios", the workshop welcomed various communities of practice
including personas, stories, and use cases. What was common among the participants is a usercentered
perspective. The word "scenario" in this report refers to any of these communities of

The scope of this workshop includes the overlapping concerns of: deploying a scenario
methodology into a project environment, integrating scenarios with other UCD methods, craft and
quality in writing scenarios, and tailoring scenarios to various project contexts. The workshop was
divided into four segments, which loosely follow the phases of writing and using scenarios:
Identifying where scenarios come from, defining scenario topics, writing scenario content, and
using scenarios that have been written.

This report summarizes the key points from each segment of the workshop. To stimulate
discussion, participants completed several exercises. The exercise material is summarized in the

By: Paul McInerney, Michael J. Muller

Published in: RC22931 in 2003


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