What is a Use Case?
On any given day, each person who interacts with a business or organization represents a different use case, or several use cases, in that each needs a different mix of services and accommodations. Within the pile of individual needs, general needs can be grouped into use cases that will lead to better customer service over-all.
One of the benefits of considering use cases is that you retain customers and acquire new customers because you understand their needs. Every organization operates within economic, regulatory and other constraints. The goal of use cases is to minimize the effect of those restraints on potential customers.
How Big Should a Use Case Be?
I’ve been reading articles about Use Cases, and it seems to me that they should be more granular.
Use Case Example 1
One example I saw, “A driver is looking to get from Boston to New York City. “
When I see that, I think:
- Is it a semi?
- Is it a semi with 2 trailers? (can’t go on some roads)
- Is it a refrigerated semi (critical delivery time)
- Is it a motorcycle? (road construction is a major danger)
- Is it rush hour combined with any of the above?
But, when I discussed this issue with a contact, he said, “What if the use case is that you are working on an app that tracks the location of a vehicle, and the type of business is irrelevant?” That reminds me that the use case is relevant to both the scenario for the business service and how a viewer will use the service.
Use Case Example 2
A second example I saw, “Individuals can use an app to place food orders directly to restaurants.”
When I see that, I immediately wonder what the definition of an individual is. Assuming that individual is a human,
- Does the individual have a disability
- Is the individual required to speak a specific language
Is further refinement of the use case necessary or overkill?
My Examples of Use Cases
- A small, regional airline has passengers who only have experience with major airlines.
- A restaurant hosts bands, but there are patrons who want to have a family dinner with conversation.
Use Case: A Significant Number of your Market is Accustomed to a Process Very Different from Yours
In the case of the regional airline, their website content, their signs, and their emails didn’t make much sense because of gaps in understanding that their process is different from major airlines.