Alternate Spectrum – User Stories

I’ve decided on a working title for the diagram app. I’m going to call it Alternate Spectrum for the time being. I discussed the basis of the idea in my last post. Now I’m going to cover the use cases, I’m going to present them in the traditional way for projects like this: User stories in the form “As a X I want to Y so that I can Z”.

I’ve identified a few different user types who might be interested in the app:

  • Casual user – an autistic person (or their representative) who’s interested in the idea that autism has different presentations, but doesn’t know enough about the theory to identify their traits.
  • Viewer – someone, not necessarily autistic, who wishes to view the profile of an app user.
  • Activist user – an autistic person who wishes to use the app to complement their activism, as an educational tool.
  • Data-logging user – an autistic person (or their representative) who wishes to track changes in their profile over time in order to self-analyse more effectively.
  • Social media user – an autistic person (or their representative) who wishes to share their status changes using social media or a blogging platform.
  • Community user – an autistic person (or their representative) who wishes to use their profile to get more accurate and personalised advice to help them to manage their autism, or to connect with people who have a similar or compatible profile for social purposes.

A person can be one or many of these types at different times. I’m going to give them names and motives and try to get into their shoes a bit.

  • Jake’s looking into an autism diagnosis, as he feels he meets the diagnostic criteria. He’s heard that there’s more to autism than just the stereotypes. He wants more information about the diversity of the spectrum and where he fits into it, but doesn’t really have time to wade through disability theory blogs to find the information he needs.
  • Audrey is an autistic advocate, they want to improve public understanding of autism by dispelling harmful and reductive stereotypes and replacing them with a more accurate representation.
  • Li is a blogger, occasionally, she posts updates on her autistic traits and how her day is going. She wants to provide a visual aid to illustrate her status.
  • Rob is interested in how his abilities and difficulties change over time. He wants a tool to help him find what works well for him and what causes problems.
  • Sonya and Harry are mother and son. They’re part of an autism forum and are looking for information that might help them to accommodate Harry’s needs, but a lot of the information isn’t relevant to Harry.

So, we have our characters, they have their situations and motives. Now we need our user stories. Let’s start with Jake the one-time user:

  • As Jake, I’d like to be able to fill in a questionnaire which will tell me more about where I fit into the autism spectrum, so that I can better understand how autism relates to me.
  • As Jake, I want to get my results without having to sign up, so that I can access the information I need more quickly.

And Audrey the activist:

  • As Audrey, I’d like to share my profile with others so I can illustrate that there are different experiences of autism.
  • As Audrey, I’d like my profile to include an explanation of what each part of my profile means so that I can inform others about the variety within the autism spectrum.
  • As Audrey, I’d like my profile to include an illustration of how autism can change over time so that I can inform others about the variability of the challenges associated with autism.
  • As Audrey, I’d like my profile to hide my real identity so that I can feel safer whilst engaging in activism.
  • As Audrey, I’d like my profile to include an explanation of some common co-morbidities of autism, such as SPD, so that I can inform others about the variability of those, too.
  • As Audrey, I’d like to be able to share my profile as a social media link with a main image of my choosing, so that I can present the information in a way that’s appropriate for the focus of my activism.

Li, the blogger:

  • As Li, I’d like to log my current experience of my autism so that I can share it with my readers.
  • As Li, I’d like to share a capture of my profile that doesn’t update when I next fill in the questionnaire, so that I can provide context with my blog posts.
  • As Li, I’d like to share a picture of my profile that updates when I fill in the questionnaire, so that my blog always displays my status.

Rob the data-logger:

  • As Rob, I’d like to have a graph available for each category so that I can see how it changes over time.
  • As Rob, I’d like to be able to view the complete profile for any historical point, so that I can identify connections between categories.
  • As Rob, I’d like to be able to see a history of my averaged profile so that I can see if my experience has changed over time.
  • As Rob, I’d like to be able to remove a data point from my history, so that I can avoid erroneous data affecting my results.

Sonya and Harry:

  • As Sonya, I want to be able to add Harry’s average profile to a forum post or signature so that I can connect with other parents whose children have similar experiences to Harry.
  • As Harry, I want to be able to control which graphs show on my profile, so that I can control how information about me is viewed.

That’s about it for now. I’ll probably think of more user stories. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

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