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Call for Contributions: Use Cases

This is the first call for contributions – anyone who has a certain use case in mind is welcome to join in and contribute, preferably via the mailing list. Programming skills and technical knowledge are irrelevant for creating use cases. A use case can be as simple as the following:

Simple Use Case 1

Title: Filter Resumes for Java Experience

Primary Actor: Recruiter (Agent Smith)

Scenario: Agent Smith has 3 jobs to fill for his client, a bank. He is looking exclusively for developers who have at least 3 years of experience with Java. He is using his corporate system to filter the applications he receives via e-mail and via the form on his company’s website.

Simple Use Case 2

Title: Unemployed Saleswoman learning Resume Writing

Primary Actor: Applicant (Anna April)

Scenario: Anna is participating in a course on resume writing because the job center sent her there after she has been unemployed for half a year. She has no computer skills apart from using the browser and needs to create a resume.

The above use cases are the simplest form – of course one could go into more detail and explain what kind of files Agent Smith receives and what happens in case of both successful and unsuccessful filtering, etc. The simple use case form is usually enough in order to be able to explain what a certain group of people might need the most from a next-gen resume. Names for the actors are useful when referring to the use case scenarios in future feature discussions.

Why do we need use cases?

Most of the existing resume solutions have one particular group of people with one particular presentational format in mind and while creating a specification as well as snippets and tools for developers is what we are aiming at, we want them to be well-defined.

When John is looking for a job, he doesn’t want to fiddle around in Word to align his photo. Stella wants to edit an infographic but doesn’t want to put the hours of work into creating it from scratch. Berta, who recruits people in different time zones from home, would like to view all the resumes she receives on a black background with light gray text, because it is easier on her eyes. Andrew wants to avoid discriminating anyone even subconsciously, so he would like to show every resume without a photo or name on them before he decides on his ten top candidates.

Thinking of use cases helps us explore people’s needs without having to conduct expensive user experience research right away and it will also help us recognize the limits or weaknesses our approach might face – so feel free to jot down your use case thoughts in any form you prefer, as long as there is at least a title, actor role, and description provided.

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