Just Launched! — New User Story Mapping Tool in Aha!

Product and marketing teams love user story maps. How do we know? Because it is the second most popular item in our ideas portal. Many of you told us you wanted a better way to align your roadmap with the user and buyer journey. We agreed. And after quite a bit of journey mapping on our end, we are excited to introduce this important functionality so you can do just that.

You can now create user story maps in Aha! to align your roadmap with your customer’s journey. 

The new user story map is the perfect complement to the features board. The board allows you to plan based on upcoming releases, work which tends to be inward-focused. The story map enables you to create and prioritize work based on what your customer is trying to do, which is externally-focused. Both views are useful for building an optimal roadmap that delivers the most value for customers and the team.

Creating a story map is a familiar exercise for most product teams. It gives you a way to visualize and organize the high-level activities by the tasks your users are trying to complete. Grouping new functionality that you are going to build this way helps you understand which features will provide the most value to your customers and prioritize accordingly.

Although perhaps a bit newer to marketing teams, story maps are incredibly useful for your work too. You can visualize the buyer’s journey to better understand what information and support customers need at each stage to purchase your product or service.

All product and marketing workspaces in Aha! include user story maps. If you have customized your navigation, you will need to enable user story maps in your navigation settings. This new view is especially helpful during planning sessions because you can map the ideal user flow and capture ideas as you go. Quickly add master features and features (you might call these epics and stories) to see where they fit in the context of the user journey. If you are in a marketing workspace, these records are labeled as master activities and activities. 

The examples below use terminology from a product workspace. Here is how to get started:

Capture the user journey
Consider the steps someone needs to take as they try to solve a problem and use your product. Add these to your story map from left to right. Then add master features. These are larger bodies of work that you can use to group high-level activities or actions the user is trying to complete as part of each step. The example below shows how users would find, select, and purchase merchandise in an ecommerce store.

If you are not currently using master features, adding one to your user story map automatically enables the functionality in your workspace settings.

Map features to each step
Now you are ready to add features. You can create new features as you go or add existing records. Then you can drag and drop the cards in priority order. This way you can see which features will improve the user experience and which ones are not fundamental to helping the customer solve a key challenge. 

Features will automatically link to the corresponding master feature in each column. 

Plan upcoming releases 
You can also add releases (both new and existing) to your user story map. Adding a release inserts a horizontal swimlane across all steps — so you can see when you plan to deliver the new functionality. As work gets underway, you also have the option to color the cards by status to track their progress.

Add a release to a user story map in Aha!

You can share your user story map as a notebook, image, or PDF.

Viewing your product roadmap from a user’s perspective lets you focus on building what your customers really need. 

If you have been waiting for user story maps to make it into Aha! — today is your day. Go ahead, start mapping. (And if you have not worked with user story maps before, this guide will help you think about how to incorporate them into your work.) 

Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy
User story maps are available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 250,000 users trust Aha! to build and market lovable products.

About Claire and Aha!

Claire is passionate about helping product and marketing managers set brilliant strategy and deliver results. She is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software. Claire has more than 15 years of marketing and software experience. Previously, she led product marketing at an agile-based work management platform.

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Comments

  1. Steve Podzamsky

    This is a great feature. the user experience is a little off vs. the rest of Aha though.
    The pieces I see missing:
    * Is there any way to add customization of the cards
    * Should be able to not show completed releases or features in the add existing
    * When clicking on the Feature reference and number, it should open the details

    Reply
    1. Bryan McCarty

      Good eye. The user story map does behave a little differently. This is by design, to help you quickly define your user’s journey and plan how you will improve their experience.

      We welcome ideas and suggestions on how to keep improving. Thank you for creating an idea for this! It will help us gather community feedback and better understand your use cases so we can prioritize improvements

  2. Eva

    Nice but I would like to have a ‘draft’ version, so a board can be used to determine what stories per step we should support or consider etc and not create features until we are sure type thing. So we can destroy cards we dont want and when happy let it create the master features and stories properly with the releases (sprints)
    Move cards that may be moved here and there to assist discovery or trigger new ideas etc before committing it as a feature

    Reply
    1. Bryan McCarty

      Great feedback, Eva! Please add an idea to our ideas portal so others can chime in and vote. Thank you for creating an idea for this! It will help us understand if other Aha! users are looking for this same type of functionality.

  3. Michael Agombar

    Is there a way to add features onto the user story map from the features board I’ve already built out?

    Reply
    1. Claire George Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment, Michael. You can definitely add existing features to a user story map. On the right of the screen is a side bar labelled “Add existing records.” You may need to expand it. This gives you the option to add existing releases, master features, and features. Here is a link to a support article which provides more details: https://support.aha.io/hc/en-us/articles/360030721111 And if you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Success team at support@aha.io.

  4. Doug

    What is the recommended mapping between Aha! and Azure Dev ops to leverage Story Maps?
    We currently map Master Feature=Epic, Feature=Feature, and Requirement=UserStory. Dev teams wants to talk at the UserStory level, but the map doesn’t support cards for Requirements/UserStories.
    Should we be mapping Master Feature=Feature and Feature=UserStory? What do we do with our Azure Epics?

    Reply
    1. Claire George Post author

      Thanks for your question, Doug. Please could you send a note to support@aha.io. Our Customer Success team will be happy to take a look at your specific set up and discuss the best way to configure your integration mappings so you can get the visibility you need in both tools. Every member of our customer success team has deep product management expertise and will respond within a couple of hours.

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