Mapping Canvas

An interconnected map of the contexts where stories occur
Example Canvas: clicking a thumbail shows the user stories that occur in a location.

Canvas Locations: Key Elements


The context where one or more user stories takes place:

For digital projects, it's often intuitive to create canvas locations for each "screen" of a site or app, but if your project doesn't have "screens" that's okay! Canvas locations can represent any context where your users do things... for example, consider creating locations for each step along a customer journey, then draw connections showing the different paths that can be taken.


Each context location has an image -- which helps create a more helpful and visually rich context map. This can be a design screen-shot, a wireframe, or any other visual aid.

On the canvas map, links can be dragged from several hot-spots on the edge of each location to connect it to other locations. This flexibility allows you to show both inter-linking network-style flow structures and hierarchical relationships.

Mapping Stories to Contexts

  • From the story form, you can select any number of "Canvas Contexts" from those which have been added to the map

  • From the context/location detail page you can add stories that automatically associate with a user.

Canvas Tips

  • Seeing at a glance stories that happen in a context is a quick way to ramp up a team's contextual understanding -- which leads to more efficient collaboration and less missed connections.

  • Even on digital projects, "screens" may not always work for "behind the scenes" stories. For these stories, you can create canvas locations using other concepts like code modules or execution environments (servers, cloud systems), keeping in mind the principle that this is in some sense "where the action occurs."