how to start with user requirements

User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum with Examples and Template

User story and Acceptance criteria, User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum

In this guide, I’ll explain User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum, and how to write them. I’ll also provide examples and downloadable templates for you to use.

User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum are two related but distinct components used in agile development to capture requirements and ensure a shared understanding of desired functionality. Here’s an explanation of the difference between the two:

What is a User Story?

A user story is a brief, simple, and user-centric description of a specific functionality or feature from the perspective of a user or stakeholder. It follows a specific format, typically as follows:

“As a [role], I want [goal] so that [benefit].”

User stories are written in a non-technical language to promote communication and collaboration between the development team and stakeholders. User stories capture the “what” and “why” of a requirement, highlighting the intended user or stakeholder, their goal or need, and the expected benefit or value.

What are Acceptance Criteria?

Acceptance criteria are specific, detailed, and testable conditions or requirements that must be met for a user story to be considered successfully implemented and accepted by the product owner or stakeholders.

Acceptance criteria elaborate on the user story by defining the specific functionalities, behaviors, or qualities that should be present in the delivered solution. They serve as measurable indicators of completion and guide the development team in building the right solution.

Acceptance criteria typically outline the boundaries, constraints, or specific expectations for the user story. They help the development team and stakeholders align their understanding of what is expected and provide clear guidelines for testing and validation. Acceptance criteria are written using precise language and can take the form of statements, lists, rules, examples, or scenarios.

User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum

User Story Examples

User Story 1:
As a digital marketer, I want to track campaign performance in real time so that I can make data-driven decisions and optimize strategies for better results.

User Story 2:
As a marketing manager, I want to create targeted audience segments based on demographics and interests so that I can deliver personalized messages and improve campaign engagement.

User Story 3:
As a content creator, I want to schedule social media posts in advance so that I can maintain a consistent presence and effectively engage with my audience across different platforms.

User Story 4:
As a campaign analyst, I want to generate detailed reports on key performance metrics such as click-through rates and conversion rates so that I can assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

User Story 5:
As a product owner, I want to integrate marketing automation tools with customer relationship management (CRM) software so that I can streamline lead nurturing and optimize the customer journey.

User Story 6:
As a digital marketer, I want to conduct A/B testing on landing pages and email campaigns so that I can identify the most effective variations and enhance conversion rates.

User Story 7:
As a campaign manager, I want to implement retargeting campaigns to reach users who have previously shown interest in our products or services so that I can increase brand awareness and drive conversions.

User Story 8:
As a marketing team member, I want to collaborate and share assets seamlessly through a centralized content management system so that we can improve workflow efficiency and maintain brand consistency.

User Story 9:
As a digital marketer, I want to implement SEO strategies and optimize website content so that I can improve organic search rankings and attract more targeted traffic.

User Story 10:
As a marketing coordinator, I want to create and manage effective email marketing campaigns, including personalized drip campaigns, to nurture leads and drive conversions throughout the customer lifecycle.

Acceptance Criteria Examples

Acceptance criteria for User Story 1:
1. The campaign tracking system provides real-time data on key performance indicators such as impressions, clicks, and conversions.
2. The campaign performance dashboard displays metrics segmented by various channels and campaigns.
3. The system allows for setting up custom alerts or notifications based on specific performance thresholds.
4. The data visualization capabilities of the tracking system enable easy identification of trends and patterns.
5. The system supports integration with other marketing tools or platforms for comprehensive data analysis.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 2:
1. The audience segmentation feature allows filtering contacts based on demographic attributes like age, location, and gender.
2. The system provides options to create dynamic audience segments based on user behavior and interests.
3. The targeted messaging functionality allows the personalization of content based on audience segment attributes.
4. The system offers to report on audience segment performance and engagement metrics.
5. The audience segmentation process is intuitive and user-friendly, requiring minimal technical expertise.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 3:
1. The scheduling feature enables the selection of specific dates and times for publishing social media posts.
2. The system supports scheduling posts across multiple social media platforms simultaneously.
3. The scheduled posts are automatically published at the designated times without any manual intervention.
4. The system provides a clear overview of the scheduled posts and their corresponding platforms.
5. The scheduling functionality allows for editing or rescheduling posts as needed.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 4:
1. The reporting system generates comprehensive reports with key performance metrics such as click-through rates and conversion rates.
2. The reports provide detailed insights into the performance of different marketing campaigns or initiatives.
3. The system allows for customizing report parameters and selecting specific time ranges for analysis.
4. The reports offer visual representations, such as graphs or charts, for easy data interpretation.
5. The reporting functionality supports exporting reports in various formats for sharing or further analysis.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 5:
1. The marketing automation tools integrate seamlessly with the chosen CRM software.
2. The integration enables automatic synchronization of lead data between the marketing automation and CRM systems.
3. The system allows for setting up personalized email workflows triggered by specific customer actions or attributes.
4. The integration facilitates tracking and reporting on the effectiveness of lead nurturing efforts.
5. The marketing automation tools provide analytics and insights on customer interactions within the CRM system.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 6:
1. The A/B testing functionality allows the creation of different variations of landing pages and email campaigns.
2. The system evenly distributes traffic or recipients among the variations for accurate comparison.
3. The A/B testing process automatically determines the winning variation based on predefined success metrics.
4. The system provides statistical significance analysis to ensure reliable results.
5. The A/B testing results are easily accessible and provide insights into the performance of each variation.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 7:
1. The retargeting campaign setup allows defining specific criteria for targeting users who have shown previous interest.
2. The system tracks and logs user interactions to accurately identify retargeting candidates.
3. The retargeting ads are displayed to the targeted users across relevant channels or platforms.
4. The system provides reporting on the effectiveness of the retargeting campaigns, including impressions and conversions.
5. The retargeting campaign settings are customizable and allow for optimization based on performance metrics.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 8:
1. The content management system provides a centralized repository for storing and organizing marketing assets.
2. The system supports seamless collaboration among team members, allowing simultaneous editing and version control.
3. The content management system offers search and filtering capabilities for easy asset discovery.
4. The system ensures consistent branding by enforcing access restrictions and maintaining approved templates.
5. The system integrates with other marketing tools or platforms for efficient asset sharing and distribution.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 9:
1. The SEO strategies involve optimizing website content based on relevant keywords and search intent.
2. The system provides recommendations or suggestions for improving on-page SEO elements, such as meta tags and headers.
3. The optimized website content yields higher organic search rankings for targeted keywords.
4. The system offers analytics and reporting on organic search traffic and keyword performance.
5. The SEO optimization process follows industry best practices and guidelines for sustainable results.

Acceptance criteria for User Story 10:
1. The email marketing campaign creation process allows for personalized content and dynamic variables.
2. The system provides a user-friendly email builder with drag-and-drop functionality and customizable templates.
3. Email campaigns can be automated with triggers based on specific customer actions or time-based sequences.
4. The system tracks email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates for effective campaign measurement.
5. The email marketing functionality integrates with CRM or lead management systems for streamlined lead nurturing and tracking.

NOTE: There is flexibility in the number of criteria per user story; it doesn’t have to be limited to exactly five. The number of acceptance criteria can vary, depending on the complexity and specificity of each user story.

Below, you’ll discover an Online Generator for User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum. It’s a fillable form that you can use for practice.

User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum Generator

User Story

Please add a brief description of the type of user, the tasks they need to perform, and the goals they want to achieve. Keep it concise and specific.

Example: As a website visitor, I want to be able to create an account so that I can access exclusive features and personalize my experience.

Acceptance Criteria

Please provide the given context, the action that triggers the criteria, and the expected observable outcomes. Be specific and clear.

Example: Given that I am on the login page, when I enter valid credentials and click the "Login" button, then I should be redirected to the dashboard page and see my personalized content.

Your User Story:

Homework Assignment (User Stories and Acceptance Criteria in Scrum)

Epic Story:

Title: Upgrade User Authentication System

As part of our ongoing effort to enhance security and user experience, we need to upgrade the user authentication system for our mobile banking app. The current system relies solely on username and password authentication, which has proven to be vulnerable to various security threats. The goal of this upgrade is to implement a multi-factor authentication system that provides users with added security while ensuring a seamless login experience.

Homework Task:

Your task is to split the epic story “Upgrade User Authentication System” into four user stories and determine acceptance criteria for each of the user stories. Use the provided template to structure your user stories and acceptance criteria.

User Story Template:

User Story 1:
Acceptance Criteria:

User Story 2:
Acceptance Criteria:

User Story 3:
Acceptance Criteria:

User Story 4:
Acceptance Criteria:


Please submit your homework to our FB group. You can either type your user stories and acceptance criteria directly into the template or provide them in a separate document.

Make sure to include your name and the date on your submission.

Note: Feel free to refer to the Scrum guide and any other resources we’ve discussed in class to guide your splitting of the epic and creation of acceptance criteria. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.


In summary, a user story provides a high-level description of the desired functionality or feature from the user’s perspective, while acceptance criteria provide specific and testable conditions that must be met for the user story to be considered complete.

User stories capture the “what” and “why,” while acceptance criteria focus on the “how” and provide a detailed specification for the development team to ensure the successful implementation of the user story.

You might also want to check:

  1. Writing User Requirements in Scrum
  2. Mastering User Requirements in Scrum
  3. User Story and Acceptance Criteria: Examples, and DIY Implementation

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