I want to…
The trouble with this story template is that everything is a want. And as I tell my three year old daughter when she says “I want some sweets” I say no! You can’t have them. They’ll rot your teeth!
A story list of “wants” is little more than a feature list. Yes, it may be prioritised, but are we just prioritising “I want a mars bar” over “I want a Twix”?
So how about separating needs out from wants.
When I travelled in Tibet, I needed to go to the toilet. I certainly didn’t want to go… As a junkie, I need a fix. I don’t necessarily want to stick a dirty needle into my arm.
Possibly not the best examples…
I need to login to access my on-line bank account details. I don’t want to log in.
What if we focus upon what our users need to do before including all their low level wants? Imagine the needs are the roots of product that we build, with the wants being the branches. The needs are the outcomes that must be satisfied.
I need to get to Manchester.
As soon as I introduce “wants” I begin to loose sight of my outcome. “I want to fly in an executive jet with Champagne on tap…”
There’s another dimension to consider. Needs and wants may be persona or environment specific.
There’s a half drunk bottle of water lying on the ground.
I’m in the desert. I’m dehydrated. I need to drink it.
I’m on the street. I’ve been to the pub. I certainly don’t want to drink it!
And maybe there’s another expression of volition, that of desire.
I need a drink
I want a glass of wine
I desire a bottle of ’53 Margaux
Maybe there’s something in this…