A "job story" is an alternative to the traditional user story format. In contrast to the user story, which foregrounds the persona performing an action, a job story highlights the context in which the action is performed.
For example, where a user story may be written like this:
As a working parent, I want to order take-out so I can spend time with my kids instead of cooking
A job story might be written like this:
When I get home from a long day of work, I want to minimize the effort required to get a meal on the table so I can spend more time with my kids instead of cooking
More qualifiers can be added to increase the specificity of the job story, possibly promoting empathy:
When I get home from a long day of work, and I’m tired and feel pressured to put food on the table, I want to minimize the effort required to prepare a healthy meal so I can spend time with my kids instead of cooking.
Job stories do not offer solutions; they describe the context for which the solution is hired. (See Users engage with a product or service to fulfill some fundamental need or job.)
- Focus personas on tasks, goals, and motivations
- Personas make abstract research concrete for design teams
- Methods to overcome the limitations of personas
- JTBD Job Interview Structure
Kalbach, Jim, and Michael Schrage. The Jobs To Be Done Playbook: Align Your Markets, Organization, and Strategy Around Customer Needs. New York: Two Waves Books, 2020.
Klement, Alan. “Replacing The User Story With The Job Story.” JTBD.Info (blog), July 3, 2018. https://jtbd.info/replacing-the-user-story-with-the-job-story-af7cdee10c27.