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Activity 6: Scenario Building

This activity complements the traditional idea-generation phase of the typical design process. Use the research you have gathered to build scenarios that will help you to see things from the point of view of your users.

typical designers storyboard

Scenario building will help you to keep in mind the insights already gathered from your users and ensure that their needs and aspirations are driving the process. Generate ideas in response to those scenarios and virtually test ideas from a particular user's perspective. This will allow you to assess which ideas will work much earlier on in the process.


  • User profiles: Determine main drivers and character traits of each user. Think about what is important to each individual and summarise key aspects of their personality.
  • Personas: Generate fictional characters based on your research and on real users. You should have a good idea how they might think and respond to situations they face.
  • Storyboarding: Visualise scenarios to explore an idea. Draw out sequences of how and where the idea might potentially be used. It is important to give detail to the central characters and the context.
  • Role-play: See from the user’s point of view. Imagine that you are the user and act out scenarios reacting as you think they would. Use other team members to help or set in the real world context.
  • Revisit insight databank: Keep the user study fresh in your mind. Remind and re-inspire yourself throughout the idea generation phase using the data gathered during the research.


Completing this activity should generate a range of concepts, ideas and scenarios that are driven by user need whilst considering other factors that are important in business. It will help you to answer the brief in new and interesting ways, animating solutions and testing them from a user perspective.