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We're implementing a Scrum workflow and I'm trying to wrap my head around user stories, when they're completed, iterations, etc. One thing we often do is work on a story during an early iteration, get it fully working but "ugly". We use plain buttons, no images, just the text to show that it's working the way they should. We show our customer, make sure they are happy with how it's working, then we usually use images they provide to finish up the design of the feature and complete it.

In this instance, would we complete the user story when it's functionally complete, and make a second user story that says something to the effect of "as a user I want xyz to be visually appealing" to take care of the design phase? Or would we just move the user story from the first iteration to later on in the project once we get the design elements and can complete it? If that's the case, I can see us only completing maybe one or two stories in the first few iterations and completing a TON of stories in the final few iterations.

How do you all handle this scenario?

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A user story represents something that provides value to the business. Is it valuable to your business to provide a working feature to your design team? If so, create a user story that says that:

As a member of the design team, I want a working version of feature x so that I can create a final visual design that is appealing.

Is there business value in developing that final visual design? Make that a story:

As a customer, I want the visual design of feature X to be visually appealing and streamlined so that the use of the product is more enjoyable.

There needs to be more thought into the story than what I did, but hopefully that gives you the general idea.

Stories don't have to be fully finished features that are delivered to customer; stories represent something that provides value to the company. Sometimes the company is it's own customer. The point of the story is to get you to think about who benefits from your development efforts, and how they benefit.

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This is very insightful, thank you so much. –  Cory Imdieke Aug 10 '12 at 18:38

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