BlogUser Story Generator: Using AI-assist to get past writer’s block

Sometimes it’s difficult to begin writing from a blank page. We created a free app to accelerate writing user stories.

October 19, 2022

Product managers have a lot on their plates. Their primary responsibility is to understand the market, competition, customers and users — and then define the product that meet business goals and customers’ needs over the product-market life-cycle. That’s a heavy load. And as product managers own the feature roadmap, they are often additionally tasked with writing feature requirements as user stories.

Here at Planorama Design, we’ve discussed user stories in other articles (1, 2), highlighting their value from feature definition through design and development. However, when the rubber meets the road, someone must actually sit down, focus, and write them. Even for the most seasoned product manager, writer’s block can take hold, yielding a blank stare at an equally blank document, pondering where to start.

Planorama Labs, our research and development arm, considered how to tackle this very predicament that we’ve all faced. Our guiding question was, “How can we accelerate user story creation?” Here is what we learned:

  1. It is often much faster and less daunting to edit existing content to our needs rather than create it from scratch. This is why most programming languages provide a Hello World program to get developers started, and equally why it’s preferred to paste code from StackOverflow and modify as needed.
  2. Teams have an easier time completing acceptance criteria after the user story narrative is written. Therefore, writing the story narrative is a gateway to progress for the remainder of the feature requirements.

Based on this research, we designed and developed the User Story Generator to assist product managers, founders, or anyone responsible for writing requirements to get past a blank screen with a blinking cursor. Watch the video below for a full demonstration:

As our beta launch of User Story Generator, we consider this a demonstration of how AI can assist in day to day activities for specific business roles, and in this particular case, even produce results for further investigation by the user. We will be improving this over time, and would love to receive your feedback!

Illustrations by Matt Genovese and DALL-E 2

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