Acceptance Criteria For User Stories

TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE:

  1. What is an acceptance criteria
  2. Template to write acceptance criteria

What is an acceptance criteria

Acceptance criteria let you define when your user story is complete and has all the functionality needed to meet your user’s needs.

They are a set of conditions a user story should satisfy to be considered as done. It provides a detailed scope of the user story and what is needed so your team can understand what they’re up against. That way, every time you ship a new feature, you can be sure the feature meets the standard your users deserve.

But before you enthusiastically declare a set of functional criteria that should be met for your user story, consider how other variables can impact the quality of your feature as well and include them into your acceptance criteria.

Acceptance criteria can include:

  1. User experience

  2. The current user story’s effect on existing feature

  3. A key performance like speed

  4. What the feature was intended to do

Note: Like user stories, acceptance criteria is not a task. They are a technique for adding functional details to user stories.

So, based on the feature you are building and its complexity, sit together with your team and figure out what minimum subset of functionality it should perform and how it should behave. If it’s complex or a core feature of your product, you should consider writing as many and detailed acceptance criteria to help your team avoid any confusion.


Template to write acceptance criteria

To make life easier, here’s a simple template you can use for writing acceptance criteria:

Given [context] when [a specific action is performed] then [a set of consequences should occur]

Example of acceptance criteria: Given I am on the sign-in page when I enter my username and password to login then I should be taken to My Dashboard page.

In Zepel, we recommend users to add all acceptance criteria as a description to the user story, so when your team members pick it up, they have the full picture of what’s required to complete the user story and its related discussions all in one place.

Acceptance criteria for a user story in Zepel


Vikash Koushik

Vikash Koushik

Product Marketing at Zepel.io