A journey from user story to user interface

Slate – an online management tool for deterministic TSN networks

A journey from user story to user interface

Slate – an online management tool for deterministic TSN networks

Slate XNS, a commercial TSN network scheduling tool with browser-based topology modeling, rests on quality surveys and user stories with clearly defined acceptance criteria to optimize user experience.

Modeling topologies, defining critical and non-critical communication streams, setting up schedules, and deploying configurations are all made simple with Slate XNS. The user is assisted in creating the network topology by a straightforward graphical topology modeler, which adds physical links between devices and communication data streams using drag-and-drop operations from a TSN device list to the topology map.

With just one click, the schedule can be generated and distributed to each individual node. After implementation, the new network elements and streams can be added without changing the current schedules and configurations. The model can also include a variety of user constraints, such as start- and end-time limits, precedence rules amongst streams, and end-to-end latency requirements. In addition, the user can provide the tool with optimization parameters, such as end-to-end stream latencies or the distribution of available unscheduled bandwidth, to help it find the best possible solution.

Popular methods for expressing needs and requirements for the software include the user stories, which often use a straightforward framework such as “As a (role), I want (objective), so that (benefit) “. The use of the user stories is growing, particularly in the context of agile software development. To understand the requirements and needs of the product, the user experience designer needs to iteratively define the user stories with the product owner and all involved stakeholders.

All parties involved in the development process must speak the same language when using the user stories, including the product owners, architects, designers, and developers. By concentrating on the value that each tale offers to users, we may create this shared language. Cross-disciplinary understanding of the concept of user value is essential for decisions on implementation, design, and prioritization, especially when it involves an industrial tool, made for use by engineers, such as Slate XNS.

Example 1. of user story

As a user I want to be able to add/delete/edit components via a table-based editor so that I can have more systematic overview over created components in the network topology.

Acceptance criteria:

  • Add a component to the network topology by selecting it from the list of available components and specify its parameters
  • Copy functionality
  • Name is unique
  • Edit component names and types
  • Delete a component from the network topology
  • Filter the components by names, types, and categories
  • Name filter shall support the search by only part of the name and case insensitive
  • Components are sorted by categories, names
    In case of incremental scheduling, get the indication in case the incremental scheduling is invalidated (for edit and delete actions)

Figure 1. UI based on user story 1

Example 2. of user story

As a user I want to be able to preview logical topology in a graphical view so that I can see only logical connections (datastreams) among components.

Acceptance criteria:

  • Preview only the endpoint and switched endpoint components connected with logical connections (datastreams)
  • When the logical view is selected, user shall be able to preview the datastream parameters on the Layers tab
  • Multiple datastreams between any two components will be shown as two lines (one line for each direction)
  • Multiple datastreams between any two components will be indicated by a bold line
  • Selecting the datastream out of the list of the datastream belonging to the “line” by using a user dialog with a dropdown list
  • Highlight multicast datastreams

Figure 2. UI based on user story 2

The software projects preference to use the user stories over the use cases as incremental thinking has increased with the advent of agile.

Writing the user stories requires teamwork, but for the activity to be as effective as possible, it is crucial that this collaboration can be enforced incrementally. Due to the involvement of many departments in one project, it is crucial that the team members regularly interact and discuss progress to move the project forward by working sequentially. The user stories are crucial part of the agile development, curated by the product managers, and for them to be truly effective, the development team must work together in cyclically defined iterations with predetermined milestones, during which the user stories are created and continually improved through a system of feedback.

Conclusion

The most effective technique to make sure that the user stories have satisfied all the requirements is to keep the acceptance criteria for each one. The acceptance criteria are a series of conditions or predetermined scenarios that a user narrative must meet to be considered complete. Supplying everyone on the team with a shared understanding of the purpose of the application also helps build a clear set of criteria that are conveyed to them.

Writing the user story is a great approach to express the functions of the application while defining the user journey. Not only does this aid the creation of an excellent product that offers people a superior user experience, it also greatly aids the efficient scheduling of the development process. The user stories are the essential part of the development process, and they can also contribute to the success of an enterprise offering a clear image of what is being built, which can navigate important business choices.

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