Stories about users

Not to be confused with user stories, stories about users can help testers develop an understanding of what users of the software they're testing will value. In a recent IWST, Brett Leonard shared his experience of using stories of users to help develop empathy for when he's doing his exploratory testing:
"Our knowledge of stories of users is key to understanding how people derive value from our applications. [...] Stories of users make up the narrative of an application."

By having (and using) stories of users, Brett is able to better focus on value to the end user when he's doing his testing. Value for Brett, not only means more actionable bugs, but also means more focused test ideas.

During his talk, I was reminded of Atomic Object's announcement of hiring a full time artist to sketch personas.