Scenario-based design is a family of techniques in which the use of a future system
is concretely described at an early point in the development process. Narrative descriptions
of envisioned usage episodes are then employed in a variety of ways to guide the
development of the system that will enable these use experiences.
Like other user-centered approaches, scenario-based design changes the focus of
design work from defining system operations (i.e., functional specification) to describing
how people will use a system to accomplish work tasks and other activities. However,
unlike approaches that consider human behavior and experience through formal analysis
and modeling of well-specified tasks, scenario-based design is a relatively lightweight
method for envisioning future use possibilities.
A user interaction scenario is a sketch of use. It is intended to vividly capture the
essence of an interaction design, much as a two-dimensional, paper-and-pencil sketch
captures the essence of a physical design.