Use cases describe particular scenarios in which a user may encounter and use a product or service, providing more detail about specific tasks and goals as well as helping to map out the potential steps in a workflow. User personas and accompanying use cases are not meant to exhaustively describe all potential stakeholders or situations; rather they help to illustrate key goals, the main steps that should be taken towards achieving that goal, and behaviour patterns related to the design in question.
In an inclusive design process it is important to include edge cases. These are personas and use-cases that describe both users with needs that are not typically considered in the design process, as well as non-typical or unexpected uses of a product or service. Use-cases present a picture of a person in a specific context, with available tools, existing constraints and potential distractions, who is hoping to achieve a specific goal using the product or service in question.
- Determine what your user is hoping to achieve with your product/system (be specific)
- Describe the context, available tools, constraints, potential distractions, etc.
- Describe how the product can help your user achieve their goals
- Re-iterate and evolve your use-cases as you collect more feedback from potential users and/or stakeholders as your project moves forward