Six ways how to prioritize user stories in UI/UX design

Crafting successful products goes hand in hand with prioritizing the user story map. These stories serve as a blueprint, guiding the creation of features and functionalities that cater to user needs. Within the realm of UI/UX design, prioritization takes on even greater significance, as it directly impacts the overall user experience. In this insightful article, we'll explain why to prioritize user stories and also delve into six practical approaches to prioritizing user stories in UI/UX design.

What is a user story

A user story is a concise description of a feature or functionality from a user's perspective. It captures the user's goal, action, and desired outcome, helping to drive product development and align with user needs.

Why user story is critical in UI/UX design

A user story map is an indispensable element of UI/UX design, serving as the backbone of the creative process. By capturing the needs and desires of users, user stories provide a clear and concise narrative that guides the design team's decision-making and problem-solving. They enable designers to empathize with users, understand their pain points, and envision the ideal experience. 

Through user stories, designers can craft intuitive and seamless interfaces, ensuring that every design element serves a purpose and aligns with user expectations. Ultimately, user stories foster collaboration, facilitate effective communication, and drive the creation of impactful user-centric designs that captivate and engage users from the outset, making them a must-have in the UI/UX designer's arsenal.

Design-driven development provides a competitive advantage by placing the user experience at the forefront of product development. Organizations can create intuitive, visually appealing, and highly functional products by understanding user needs, behaviors, and preferences. This focus on user-centric design increases user satisfaction, higher engagement, and improved brand loyalty. 

Among the other benefits of design-driven development is creative thinking, which involves exploring new ideas to address user pain points. It does its part in assembling a project team for a shared purpose, making an accurate customer model. Ultimately, organizations that embrace design-driven development are better positioned to deliver products that stand out in the market, differentiate themselves from competitors, and drive business success.

How to prioritize user stories

Prioritizing user stories is essential for developers in web design, ensuring efficient resource allocation and project success. Let's explore criteria that will help you set the right goals to prioritize user stories:


Evaluate the time sensitivity of user stories to identify tasks that require immediate attention and put them all on your UX roadmap. For example, consider features or functionalities that directly impact the user experience or have impending deadlines. For instance, resolving critical bugs or addressing security vulnerabilities should be prioritized to ensure a smooth and secure user journey.


Compare different stories based on their significance and alignment with project goals and user needs. For example, consider features that provide essential functionality or contribute to the product's core value proposition. For instance, if building an e-commerce website, prioritizing user stories related to the shopping cart or checkout process would be crucial for business success.

Value/Customer impact

Evaluate user stories' potential value and impact on the target audience and overall customer experience. Prioritize tasks that most customers will find useful. For example, implementing a personalized recommendation system or improving site performance can significantly enhance user satisfaction and increase conversions.


Consider the effort and complexity involved in implementing UI/UX user stories. Assess tasks based on the development team's required resources, technical complexity, and skill sets. Prioritize user stories that strike a balance between value and feasibility. For instance, complex features with high development effort may be prioritized lower unless they produce more value or solve critical user pain points.


Identify user stories that have dependencies on other tasks or components. For example, prioritize stories that are dependent on previously completed or foundational work. By addressing dependent tasks earlier, you can ensure a smooth development process and avoid bottlenecks or delays.


Evaluate the potential risks and opportunities associated with user stories. Prioritize stories that mitigate significant risks or unlock new possibilities for the project. For example, addressing security vulnerabilities or incorporating emerging technologies may present opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage.

6 Methods For User Story Prioritization

MoSCoW Prioritization Method

The MoSCoW is one of the most widely used user story prioritization techniques. It enables designers to categorize user stories into Must-haves, Should-haves, Could-haves, and Won't-haves. This classification allows for a focused approach, ensuring that designers prioritize essential features and allocate their efforts effectively.

Kano Analysis

Kano Analysis helps designers gain insights into user satisfaction by categorizing their expectations into basic needs, performance expectations, and delightful surprises. This Method empowers designers to create a user experience that meets fundamental requirements and exceeds user expectations, resulting in a truly remarkable product.

Value vs. Effort Matrix

The Value vs. Effort Matrix can turn a UX designer's goals into a task prioritization solution by evaluating the value and impact of each user story in relation to the effort required for implementation. With the help of user story mapping, designers can prioritize user stories that offer the most significant impact while optimizing resource allocation.

Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)

With the Weighted Shortest Job First method, designers consider business value, time criticality, and risk to assign weighted scores to user stories. Such prioritization of the user story ensures that high-value and time-sensitive features are prioritized, leading to efficient resource management and aligning design efforts with business goals.

The 100-Point Method

The 100-Point Method provides a quantifiable method to prioritize user stories. By assigning points based on perceived value, designers can systematically rank and prioritize user stories, focusing on those with higher point values to deliver a user experience that maximizes impact.

Theme Screening

Theme Screening involves grouping user stories in UI/UX design under overarching themes or categories, allowing designers to view the design landscape comprehensively. By organizing user stories this way, designers can prioritize and address key design goals effectively, ensuring that user stories aligned with core themes receive appropriate attention.

Consider Dworkz as your trusted partner

At Dworkz, we understand your challenges regarding user story prioritization and creating exceptional user experiences. That's why we are committed to being your trusted partner with agile software development. Our expertise lies in offering a range of proven and reliable services that cater to any business. With our careful and thoughtful approach, we work closely with you to understand your pain points, align with your goals, and deliver solutions that address your specific needs.

By collaborating with us, you can be confident that your design efforts will be focused, efficient, and tailored to create exceptional user experiences. Let us help you navigate the complexities of user story prioritization and unlock the full potential of your product. Partner with Dworkz today and experience the difference firsthand.


When and how should you use the prioritization techniques?

The prioritization techniques, such as the MoSCoW method, Kano Analysis, Value vs. Effort Matrix, Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF), The 100-Point Method, and Theme Screening, should be utilized in the early stages of product development to determine the essential features (Must-haves) and the desirable ones (Should-haves and Could-haves).

How to prioritize user story: UX designer's goals?

The primary goal of a UX designer when prioritizing user stories is to align with the user's needs and expectations. UX designers can identify the most critical user stories that address those needs by thoroughly understanding the target audience, conducting user research, and empathizing with their pain points. The user story prioritization process involves considering various factors such as user goals, business objectives, technical feasibility, and available resources.

What is the main priority of user stories?

The main priority of user stories is to fulfill user needs and create a positive user experience. User stories are designed to capture the functionality or features that users desire or require to accomplish their goals efficiently. The primary focus should be addressing the most important and impactful user stories describing product vision and objectives.

Why does prioritizing user stories matter?

Prioritizing user stories is of utmost importance because it helps UX designers and development teams make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources and efforts. Prioritization ensures that the most valuable and impactful features are given priority, resulting in an optimized user experience. By understanding user needs and expectations and prioritizing accordingly, designers can create a product that resonates with users, addresses their pain points, and delivers value.

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