Try Tweeting your user story as if conciseness mattered.
Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction.
The Twitter Constraint is a 140-character limit Twitter imposes on Tweets. If you constrain yourself to follow the first tenant of DUA (i.e., Don’t Use Abbreviations), LOL, and you experiment with the 140-character limit, it might make you write better user stories.
But don’t carry brevity to extremes. Ballou also cautions
Never be so brief as to become obscure.
As a [user role], I want to [goal], so I can [reason].
But don’t let something like a template constrain you. It’s a guide; a starting point. Don’t be dogmatic – about anything.
There are zillions of posts advising you about Writing Good User Stories.
Discover the language what works for you and your team. For example, I like personas, like Help-desk Hector, that encapsulate the user role.
- Do you incorporate ambiguous words like “adequately”, “timely”, or “high-quality”?
- Do you use a long phrase when a single word conveys the same meaning?
- Do you combine multiple requirements into one long sentence?
- Do you include lengthy introductory statements that add little value such as “The ability to” or “The system shall”?
Vigorous story* writing is concise. A story* should contain no unnecessary words…for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
–William Strunk, Jr.
* The word story was inserted by me.
Perhaps you’ll discover you can cross-cut your way to the crux without sawing off the scaffold of meaning.
I leave you in the capable hands of Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965):
This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.