A practice for specifying user stories in multimedia system design: An approach to reduce ambiguity.

Carlos Alberto Peláez, Andrés Solano
pp.  214 – 236, download


Various agile approaches have guided the development of solutions based on a minimum viable product for the use of user stories (USs). These approaches provide a generic process for specifying USs for a wide variety of solutions. This study presents an original proposal for a practical approach to the specification of USs for multimedia systems, expressed using the Essence graphical notation language. The practice includes a set of activities, techniques, and tools that can be used by professionals to define the USs of a multimedia system, and which can help to mitigate potential ambiguity problems such as vagueness and insufficiency in formulation. To explore its application, a case study was carried out with the participation of two groups of professionals: an experimental group, and a control group. The results for the analysis factors are promising, and show that by carrying out the activities that make up the practice, a work team can achieve the specification of USs at three levels of concreteness, which contribute to the reduction of problems of vagueness and insufficiency in the USs of a multimedia system. Using this approach, the USs can be guaranteed to meet the value proposition of the multimedia system that will be implemented.

Keywords: User stories, Multimedia systems, Specification, Ambiguity.


1. Beck K.: Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, Addison-Wesley Professional (1999)
2. SCRUMstudy™, Una Guía para el Cuerpo del Conocimiento de SCRUM, SCRUMstudy™, Avondale, Arizona, 2017
3. Patton J., Economy P.: User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product, O’Reilly Media, Inc. (2014)
4. Ivar Jacobson International, Essence – Agile Software Development Best Practice, https://www.ivarjacobson.com/lean-agile/Essence-agile-software-development-best-practice
5. Xu, X., Dou, Y., Qian, L., Zhang, Z., Ma, Y., & Tan, Y.: A Requirement Quality Assessment Method Based on User Stories. Electronics, 12(10), 2155 (2023). https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12102155
6. Peláez C., Solano A., Granollers T.: Proposal to conceive multimedia systems from a value creation perspective and a collaborative work routes approach, Interaction Design and Architecture(s), 49, pp. 8–28 (2021). https://doi.org/10.55612/s-5002-049-001
7. Amna R., Poels G.: Ambiguity in user stories: A systematic literature review, Information and Software Technology, p. 106824 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2022.106824
8. Kuhail, M. A., & Lauesen, S.: User Story Quality in Practice: A Case Study. Software, 1(3), 223-243 (2022). https://doi.org/10.3390/software1030010
9. Hevner A.R., March S.T., Park J., Ram S.: Design science in information systems research, MIS Quarterly, pp. 75–105 (2004). https://doi.org/10.2307/25148625
10. Object Management Group: Essence – Kernel and Language for Software Engineering Methods, OMG (2018)
11. Kamthan P., Shahmir N.: Effective user stories are affective. in: Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, 11th International Conference, Philadelphia, PA, USA (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67585-5_59
12. Melegati J., Wang X.: QUESt: New practices to represent hypotheses in experiment-driven software development. In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Software-Intensive Business: Start-ups, Platforms, and Ecosystems, New York, NY, USA (2019). https://doi.org/10.1145/3340481.3342732
13. Kitchenham B., Charters S.: Guidelines for performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering, (2007)
14. Genero M., Piattini M., C.-L. J.A.: Métodos de investigación en ingeniería del software, Grupo editorial RA-MA (2014)
15. Peláez C., Solano A., Granollers T., Collazos C.: Methodologies and trends in multimedia systems: A systematic literature review, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Orlando, FL, USA, Springer, pp. 109–127 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21902-4_9
16. Sommerville I.: Software Engineering, Pearson, London (2016)
17. Peláez C., Solano A.,Granollers T.: Proposal of a practice to conceive a minimum viable multimedia system, IEEE Latin America Transactions, 19(9), pp. 1590–1598 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1109/TLA.2021.9468613
18. NN/G Nielsen Norman Group: Agile is not easy for UX. (How to) Deal with it, https://www.nngroup.com/articles/agile-not-easy-ux/
19. Choma J., Zaina L.A., Beraldo D.: Userx story: Incorporating UX aspects into user stories elaboration, International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Toronto, Canada (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39510-4_13
20. Ananjeva A., Persson J.S., Bruun A.: Integrating UX work with agile development through user stories: An action research study in a small software company, Journal of Systems and Software, 170, p. 110785 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.110785
21. Ries E.: The lean startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Portfolio Penguin, London (2011)
22. Gothelf J., Seiden J.: Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams, O’Reilly Media, Inc., USA (2017)
23. Moré A.: MPIu+ a Ágil: El Modelo de Proceso Centrado en el Usuario como Metodología Ágil, Universidad de Lleida, Lleida (2010)
24. Gazzerro S., Marsura R., Messina A., Rizzo S.: Capturing user needs for agile software development. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference in Software Engineering for Defence Applications (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27896-4_26
25. Lin J., Yu H., Shen Z., Miao C.: Using goal net to model user stories in agile software development. In: 15th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, Las Vegas, NV, USA (2014). https://doi.org/10.1109/SNPD.2014.6888731
26. Araujo L., Siqueira F.: Using i* with Scrum: An Initial Proposal. In iStar (pp. 19-24). (2016)
27. Thamrongchote C., Vatanawood W.: Business process ontology for defining user story. In: IEEE/ACIS 15th International Conference on Computer and Information Science (ICIS), Okayama, Japan (2016). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICIS.2016.7550829
28. Sohan S.M., Richter M.M., Maurer F.: Auto-tagging emails with user stories using project context. In: International Conference on Agile Software Development, Trondheim, Norway, (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13054-0_8
29. Gilson F., Irwin C.: From user stories to use case scenarios: Towards a generative approach. In: 25th Australasian Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC), Adelaide, SA, Australia, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1109/ASWEC.2018.00016
30. Jacobson I., Ng P.W., McMahon P.E., Goedicke M.: The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering: Free the Practices from the Method Prisons! Morgan & Claypool (2019). https://doi.org/10.1145/3277669.3277673
31. Cohn M.: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development, Addison-Wesley (2004)
32. ISACA, Marco de Referencia COBIT® 2019: Introducción y Metodología, ISACA, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA (2018)
33. Cohn M.: Agile Estimating and Planning, Pearson Education (2005)s
34. Geerts G.: A design science research methodology and its application to accounting information systems research, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 12(2), pp. 142–151 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accinf.2011.02.004
35. Müter L., Deoskar T., Mathijssen M., Brinkkemper S., Dalpiaz F.: Refinement of user stories into backlog items: Linguistic structure and action verbs: Research preview. In Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality: 25th International Working Conference, REFSQ 2019, Essen, Germany (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15538-4_7
36. Dilorenzo E., Dantas E., Perkusich M., Ramos F., Costa A., Albuquerque D., Perkusich A.: Enabling the reuse of software development assets through a taxonomy for user stories, IEEE Access, 8, pp. 107285–107300 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2996951
37. Fundación Able: Colegio La Fontaine, http://fundacionable.org/lafontaine/
38. Universidad Icesi: Repositorio Biblioteca Digital – Universidad Icesi, https://repository.icesi.edu.co/biblioteca_digital/bitstream/10906/65186/1/comuna_veinte.pdf
39. INFOBAE: Fedesarrollo alertó sobre la calidad educativa en Colombia: Aunque hay mayor cobertura hay menor desempeño, El País (España), 06 02 2023.
40. Peláez C., Solano A.: A practice for the design of interactive multimedia experiences based on gamification: A case study in elementary education, Sustainability, 15(3), p. 2385 (2023). https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032385

back to Table of Contents