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Why use Skore


Use Skore to map the journey users make through your product. And make sure everyone involved in the project agrees with the plan.

 

Be faster at reaching an agreement with others.

Use a better way to communicate goals and how to reach them.

Describe project flow differently with Skore.

Users of your next application, product, or project are constantly trying to reach a goal. Use Skore to map the journey they make. And make sure everyone involved in the project agrees with the plan.

Enhanced communication

Can developers, account managers, designers and customers use the same language ? We believe yes. But it doesn’t look like anything you know.

Describing how things work is often a great source of misunderstanding. Because more often than not there can be a gap between what someone means; and what the other person understands. We believe the main cause is a lack of context, because you and the person you are dealing with don’t have the same history, way of thinking and knowledge about the project. This is causing all sorts of issues that go a long way, increase cost and delays completion.

Skore enhances the traditional tools we use to communicate by introducing 2 simple shapes : boxes and brackets. Both have a simple and unique purpose. Boxes describe what needs to be done; and brackets describe why it is done.

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Always in context

The What + Why boxes constantly provide the context in which an action is done, and how it connects with the rest of the story. When connecting them together, something magic happens: it forces us to think; to clarify; to be precise. In other words: to be understood.

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A structured conversation

Creating a skore is about asking the right questions and seeking an answer that is satisfactory to everyone. Using the building blocks literally guide you through this journey, making sure you are always focused on the elements that make sense to a user.

Skore for software developement

Developers, designers and project managers don’t always “see” the software product in the same way : one can focus on the technical architecture, the other on the look and feel, and the latter on deadlines and budget. But one thing remains valid for everyone: the software must provide value. A useless piece of software won’t do anyone a favour.

Value is something important to someone, whether a resource (money, time) or a personal satisfaction. It is desired.

 

The only point of view that matters: the user’s

 

Think differently

Before deep diving into mockups or prototypes, are you 100% sure you understand what your product must do? Do you know what the main steps are to achieve a goal? What will you call these steps? Have you already thought through all the steps or are you still aligning the headlines and the buttons on the home screen in Balsamiq? Starting with the mockups can help you figure out how the software looks like but you might actually spend too long on UI details rather than actually helping the user to achieve their end goal.

Skore helps you see the product like the users’ are using it: steps done to achieve a goal

Understand the requirements

Do you want to have a rough idea of what is required, technically, to make this project happen? This is the magic of Skore. The context is always the user of the product.

 Example:

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In full it reads: “the user logs into their account so that they are identified and can retrieve previous orders in our system”. I only need 2 boxes and 9 words to say the same thing.

What does it say in terms of technical requirements ? I need a database, with the user accounts, that is linked to the orders. This database probably stores passwords, so it needs to be encrypted in one way or another. I need forms to log in; or to sign up for new customers. A mechanism to retrieve lost passwords will probably be required. And, finally, a way to retrieve previous orders and print invoices.

So many topics to be discussed with the customers !

Understand where to start and what to do next

With skore, you can split the entire user journey through your product in the same way you would explain it to a user. The core elements of your software then become obvious, and you see what you need to get started and deliver a minimal working product fast. And then select what is next to enrich it.

Skore helps you to see which parts are the most critical (think Minimum Viable Product), and what are the dependencies.

Skore helps you to create a task list based on these elements rather than the roles…

Understand who needs to do what

Once visible and obvious how to prioritise the work, you can see how to assign the different tasks to your team (dev, designers, QA, etc.) with focus on how the journey is split.

Working with focus on these chunks of the full journey keep the team focused on one problem at a time. It’s easier to talk about it; it’s easier to fix. In other words, it saves time.

Example of work assignment

The activity “Confirm order”, here is an example of how the work is defined

  • Design main confirmation screen [Designer]
  • Implement error states [Designer, Programmer]
  • Design & test email templates in various mail client [Designer, Programmer, Tester]
  • Test email sender service [Programmer, Tester]
  • Ensure order is in database [Programmer]

We do not focus on the function, but on what brings value to the user.

See the real progress of your project

Whatever development approach you are using, it is important to be able to show progress to the customer. Skore is based on what the user does in the product; a perspective that everyone can relate to. It’s therefore easy to see which parts of the journey the user can do… and which they can’t!

Better user experience (UX)

Skore guides you through a different way of thinking about your product by placing the user’s perspective first. So you are always on track. Of course, UX is made of much more than seeing what the user is expected to do in the product. Skore is used as a reference point to understand what has a higher priority to satisfy the user.

Better & meaningful User Interface (UI)

Because designing screens (mockup or prototype) can sometimes go round and round in circles, we know how easy it can be to get lost in details when the main flow of actions is not yet understood. Start with Skore so you can always assess if the details you are working on are contributing to what the user is aiming to achieve.

Of course, the UI is often what makes the magic of a successful product: because they support a goal that is clearly understood.

Airbnb is a good example. You can read more about it in this blog post. In the same vein, the Instagram Skore.

Using agile? waterfall?

Skore is an alternative way of describing how a software works. It’s not aimed at completely replacing requirements or a backlog but can be used in parallel to describe the high level vision of the software product in a short and visual way. It provides context to the work that needs to be completed.

This high level vision then allows you to keep track of the progress of the development work. Because the focus is on the functional area of the product (segments), you cannot say a piece is completed until it actually delivers the described value for the user.

Skore for agile

Skore and agile are good friends. Even though agile is focused on fast iteration; an item can be in the backlog for a while and it’s not clear anymore how this should work.

Agile focuses on delivering a working product early and continuously so that we maximise our chance to satisfy the customer. Comments can be captured quickly and the project can change direction easily.

Skore provide context and demonstrate where a user story supports the user’s progress to the overall goal. It helps finding out where to start work, and what to do next.

Skore for waterfall

The main challenge in waterfall is when the customer has something in mind that is different from what the development team has understood.

Specifications are written, approved, development is done, tested, and product is finally delivered to customer.

Skore helps you to have a shared high level vision & understanding of the product, letting each specialist take ownership of their area. Project Manager and Customer can always refer to the Skore to point out an issue or propose an alternative solution to what was first imagined.

To sum up…

Use Skore to get a better alignment of your team and get started on better work, faster.

  • Represent quickly, the main flow of your product (website, app, software…)
  • Discuss the important points to be clarified
  • Get a common understanding of the issues and solution

When to use Skore

  • At the beginning of a project
  • When something needs to be clarified between different functions / specialists

Who uses Skore ?

  • Business analysts to run awesome workshops with different specialists
  • Developers to get the “business” context of features they code
  • Product owners to answer questions from both customers and internal team
  • Customers to see the big picture
  • Product manager to tell a story relevant to everyone
  • Designers to understand the interactions

Technical stuffs

Skore is

  • A desktop software (no internet connection required once installed) for OS X or Windows
  • Licensed once for a lifetime

What you do with it:

  • Create Skore maps at the speed of talking
  • Break down high level activities into smaller pieces
  • Attach relevant information to activities

You can use & share Skore maps:

  • Save to .skore file
  • Publish online for other people to interact. (internet connection required) see example
  • Export to image file (.png) (by default it saves on your desktop)
  • Export to an image in the clipboard (to be pasted in an email or presentation)

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