Are you wondering, "What is Acceptance Criteria?"
This video from everyday.design will cover.
If you are interested in learning Scrum or teaching it to your team, you'll want to check out Everyday Scrum. It's a guide for everyday people to learn Scrum and is written intentionally to be accessible to those practicing Scrum outside the software development space.
Check out my guide to writing acceptance criteria.
In it you'll find resources like this template for writing your own acceptance criteria.
If you want to explore more Scrum related content, I have lot's of Agile and Scrum posts for you and I've highlighted a few of them below.
So we want people to enjoy what we create. We want to design things that will help people get stuff done that will help them. But how do we close this gap between what we intended and what gets experienced? How do we bring the right value to the user at the right moment, in the right way so that it makes sense and is helpful and actually feels like the gift that they've been hoping for.
Well, for that, let me introduce you to acceptance criteria.
Have you ever given someone a gift? And when they opened it, you could tell they weren't really sure what it was. You had to explain what it is, why they needed it, why they'd want it. And all the while you can kind of tell if they were deciding, Do I want this? Do I need this?
It's not the ideal scenario. Probably not what you imagined when you were shopping for the gift. And thankfully that's not a frequent situation that we probably find ourselves in. However, there is a similar occurrence that's much more common in business, and that's where we design a product, a marketing campaign, educational course, whatever it is. We design these things.
We create them with the understanding that people are going to interact with them. We have a goal. We have an expectation of what people will think and what they will do. And yet then when the customer eventually encounters what we've created, they're confused. They are unsure of what to do or how it will help them. And that outcome can be super frustrating.
I know, especially after all the work you've put in. So we want people to enjoy what we create. We want to design things that will help people get stuff done that will help them. But how do we close this gap between what we intended and what gets experienced? How do we bring the right value to the user at the right moment, in the right way so that it makes sense and is helpful and actually feels like the gift that they've been hoping for.
Well, for that, let me introduce you to acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria is a tool that will support you keeping a closer eye on your user experience when you're designing. And over the years, I've seen enough bad designs to be fully motivated to avoid this problem for myself and others. And now, as an agile coach, I help others use this convention of acceptance criteria to create intuitive, helpful products and experiences.
Acceptance criteria follows a really simple format, given that when and then, okay, let's walk through each of those one at a time. All right. Given that this is where you define the context, the moment that the user is encountering what you've created, they they can now take the necessary action to complete their goal. You might have created some really incredible functionality.
But if it's not presented at the right moment, in the right context, then that benefit is lost. Okay, so that's given that that's the context that they're encountering what you created when this is where you define the exact action that the user is going to take. And this may feel unnecessary. You might think like it's so obvious what they're going to click on the button.
Why do I need to spell it out? Well, here's the thing. You're the expert. You created the functionality, so it is very obvious to you. But what's more important is will it be obvious to someone who's seeing it for the first time? So we have given that the context when they take a certain action and then then this is where you define what happens next.
Have you ever have you ever clicked a buy now or complete order a checkout button and then just waited and not been sure? Okay. Did it go through? I don't want to I don't want to click it again because I want a double order. But but I'm not sure how long to wait. Okay. So providing feedback on the user, whether their action was successful or whether there was a failure, this is really critical.
So given that a context for the user action, when they take a particular action, then what's the feedback or results that are delivered? Okay, that's the framework. And I've included a template in the description. You can download it and start practicing writing your own acceptance criteria. But first, let's go through a couple of examples and just so you can see, what does an acceptance criteria look like in action?
Okay. So let's say you're designing the checkout process functionality for an app or an online store. Here's a possible acceptance criteria given that. All right. This is the context that a user has added all the items to their cart. They're they're logged in when what's the action they take? They click the checkout button, then the checkout page loads with their payment and shipping information preloaded.
Okay. So you see the specificity there between those three parts. And this helps in your design process too. Maybe it surfaces, oh, well, what happens if they're not logged and if that's there are assumption that's the context or what what's the result in that case. And so maybe you need another acceptance criteria for that helps you kind of see into the details and not miss a lot of those cases.
Okay, let's look at the different acceptance criteria. Let's look at one for an advertising campaign. So given that with our context, someone fits our ideal customer persona when what's the action they take? They search for a keyword that we're targeting. Then a link to a compelling offer is displayed above the fold. That's the result we want. Again, this one simple, but it makes really clear what is success for that ad campaign.
If that doesn't happen, then what we made is in successful. All right, let's look at a similar one. This one for a marketing campaign. So similar, but a little different given that a customer is already receiving email communication from us. So there's there's the context when what's the action they take? They visit our site and they engage in content related to a product that we sell.
Then the result will be they're going to automatically be subscribed to a new email campaign highlighting that product. Okay. So you see here this marketing strategy is being translated into functionality that then needs to be built and executed so that when they do or given that they're they're on our site and we know who they are when they take this action, we continue to follow up with them.
So acceptance criteria, it keeps us focused on the user experience while at the same time drilling down to the details that we need to see in order to get this thing done and get it built and delivered. If you're familiar with user stories, you may be wondering, okay, this sounds kind of like user story, but it's a little different.
Does it replace user stories? How do they work together? Well, user story, it focuses more on identifying the goals and motivations for your user. It emphasizes why this new functionality matters to them, and that's really important. The acceptance criteria. On the other hand, it focuses more on the actions that the user takes to meet that goal that you're defining and the user story.
It emphasizes more of the what of different functionality. So an acceptance you see acceptance criteria helps you get the what right so that you can deliver on the why from your user story. All right. Well, that we've covered what is acceptance criteria given some examples, again, you'll find a link to an acceptance criteria template in the description, along with a number of other scrum related resources.
I hope you found this video on acceptance criteria helpful. If you have any questions, throw those in the comments. Would love to engage with you there. And don't forget to, like, unsubscribe. Thanks. See you next time.