The best product, service and business decisions tend to come (in my experience) when I'm thinking from the user's perspective; inhabiting their shoes. Use scenarios are one of the most powerful ways of doing this--they force you to be specific about the precise situation your customer, client or user will find themselves in, and consider how your product or service will (or perhaps won't) be able to help.
In this component, I share the same Use Cases database and Notion template document I use for all my product, content and business scenario planning. Let's take a look at what's inside.
What is a Use Case scenario document?
Use case scenarios help us place key personas in specific contexts where they might actually be considering our product; needing our product (but not knowing it); using a product feature; or simply stuck with a problem we might be able to help with.
There are two types of use cases I use: product use cases and business use cases. Product use cases are all about how someone might interact with our product, touchpoints and features; business use cases document how we might be able to help a specific business process or improve an existing workflow.
Creating use case scenarios forces you to think through various user groups and different types of customer interactions; it also allows you to track and review usage overtime to see if there are any common patterns emerging (either in terms of areas where people are struggling, or opportunities for upselling or cross-selling).
Why Use Notion for Use Case Scenarios?
Notion gives an infinite canvas for mapping and linking use case scenarios--in a way that remains structured and easy to navigate. The Use Cases database in this template is a richly-related table of properties, however, in Notion it's simple enough to navigate between the connected lists, add details where needed, then return to get an overview of all Use Cases.
Leveraging Notion databases also means we can filter, sort and rank Use Cases by important properties like:
By Projects & Initiatives; and
Even by keyword volume.
Using The Use Case Scenarios Notion Template
Included in the template, you'll find 7 main workspaces:
Use Cases 'Home'
Let's talk a little more about each.
Use Cases Overview
The Use Cases home overview gives you a table, with all of the template's databases linked and related in a single view. This is the motherboard for the component, and it's where you can list new use cases to fill out with further details.
Personally, while using this setup, I tend to jump around from workspace to workspace. While brainstorming new use case scenarios, I'll have an idea for a feature that would be useful to include; a template to create; a piece of content to write; a keyword that's worth researching further.
Best to take this home view as your 'launch' point--it isn't necessary to fill out each use case line by line.
The Personas database is a collection of your target market archetypes--the people who you think might use your product, or those you have good data to suggest are already your best customers.
Every Use Case should have at least one persona tied to it... for obvious reasons. But some scenarios will apply to multiple, and having these linked databases means you can add as many personas to each Use Case as you like.
So, if one of your Use Cases is 'New Year's Resolution', then you might have 3 or 4 personas that fit that scenario--and you might also have 2 or 3 products or offerings that connect specifically to that scenario.
The Offerings database documents all the products or services you offer; these could be physical goods, digital products, SaaS platforms or service packages.
If you are using this database for an Ecommerce store, or any catalog with a large number of specific product items (say, 50+), then it's best to use the 'Offerings' database as a category property (say, 'Jeans', 'Sweatshirts', 'T-Shirts'), then you can repurpose the 'Features' database to be more granular ('Levi Jeans, Black, 32').
If you only have a few offerings, on the other hand, you should be able to simply list those in this database, then link them to the appropriate Use Cases.
This will also give you one of the more useful ways of filtering and sorting your Use Case scenarios database; namely, by Offerings. Suppose you are selling a SaaS product with 3 Tiers, and you also offer an Enterprise or 1-1 services option. That would be a total of 4 offerings, and you could link not only different personas, but different use cases to each of these offerings, then sort your table by those particular tiers/offerings.
As mentioned above, the Features database lets you get more granular about the specifics of what your offerings entail. So, if your you're selling a To-Do list SaaS, and one of your Use Cases is 'New Year's Resolutions', you might have an idea for a new Feature that's specifically related to this use case; say, a to-do list template which is preset with a 'resolution', a 'target' and a 'compare with last year' view.
You can also use this database to simply link to existing features that are most relevant for common use case scenarios--this lets you very quickly pinpoint which features are getting the most mileage from your users, and which (perhaps) aren't really pulling that much weight after all.
As a big believer in SEO, this is one of my favorite aspects of this Use Case scenarios template. As I'm brainstorming specific use case scenarios, I'm in an ideal mindset to consider what my target persona would be likely to search in that situation. So, once again, if the use case scenario is 'listing out New Year's Resolutions', there would be a series of unique keywords that relate to both my 'To-Do List App' and 'New Year's Resolutions' which would help me meet that persona in a much more specific and meaningful way.
Rather than simply competing on big keywords like 'best to do list apps of 2023', by considering the specific scenario, I can focus more on long-tail keywords, which are in turn more likely to be low competition.
Similar to keywords, the Content workspace is where you can track all the blog posts, articles, social media posts and other pieces of content that relate to a particular use case. Once again, thinking through the specific scenario that a user is facing can be an excellent way to brainstorm content ideas that will stand out:
Ebooks and downloadable guides that relate to a specific scenario;
Social media posts that are timely and related to that use case;
Articles and keyword content to meet specific searches; and
Videos that are likely to be especially helpful in solving a problem in that scenario.
These are all examples of how you can improve your content game by linking your content database directly to use case scenarios.
Projects & Initiatives
The Initiatives workspace is where you'll track all the projects and initiatives related to your use case scenarios. These can be related to content creation, product development, customer support or even higher level business strategy like pricing strategy and positioning.
Use case scenarios help you think more concretely about your product and services through the lens of your customers. When you can do this consistently, and implement on the insights gathered from brainstorming these scenarios, you can see focused improvement on anything from feature prioritization to marketing and user retention.
Duplicate the Use Cases Notion Template to your account, make use of the databases included or link it up to your own existing docs, and start linking together key scenarios that are facing your target personas.