User Stories for Local Democracy

Ideas from the “User Stories for Local Democracy” workshop at #notwestminster 2015, hosted by Dave Mckenna.

Dave Mckenna at #notwestminster
Dave Mckenna at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (15 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown

Workshop challenge

Before we start redesigning local democracy we should really have a handle on what people need and why. We mapped some real life stories of people engaging with the democratic processes of local councils. We collected user stories from people throughout the day and brought them together in this workshop. We hope these stories can now inspire some radical new ways of doing things.

The three ideas

Flag created by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project

  1. As a council officer, I need to allow the people I speak to to speak with their own voice & see through their eyes, so I can deliver good solutions to the actual problems people face.
  2. As a disengaged voter, I need to understand why politics should be of interest to me, so I can work out whether to vote and who to vote for.
  3. As a local resident, I need to have decision making reports in a format I can digest, not pages of text, so I can understand what decisions are being made, what the options are, and so I have an informed opinion about decisions – positive or negative. 
Want to join us in working on one or more of these ideas?
You can Leave a Reply at the foot of this page.



user stories placard



Three user stories for local democracy – by Dave Mckenna

“The workshop looked at how the user story technique might help us to redesign democracy around what people need.”

Four ways to make council reports more digestible – by Dave Mckenna

“Here are four suggestions that we might want to work on and develop.  I would love to hear your thoughts.”

User stories workshop
User Stories workshop at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (4 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown


user story card

user story card

user story card


Related video



About the workshop host

Dave MckennaDave Mckenna
Overview & Scrutiny Manager,
City & County of Swansea

Dave manages the Overview & Scrutiny Unit of the City & County of Swansea where he has worked for 20 years. Prior to finding a home with scrutiny he worked in a variety of frontline and policy roles with varying degrees of success.

Dave is also currently a part time student in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies where he is half way through a PhD in Local Government and Public Participation.

Localopolis (blog)


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