This is intended to be a set of user stories/use cases for the author beta-reader site I intend to build (the initial article can be found here).

The purpose of this project is to create a site where Authors can go to have their content beta-read. Site is meant as an author-to-author tool for critiqing snippets.

User Stories

User Account theme

  • As a user
    • I want to be able to log into the site [done]
    • I want to be able to create an account [done]
    • I want to be able to change passwords [done]
    • I want to configure profile information [done]
    • I want to be able to recover passwords via email [done]

General User stories

  • As a user, once logged in I want to see snippets that can be critiqued
  • Users should be able to log into to see an interface where they can submit a snippet or critique a snippet.
  • There should be two classes of users; Authors and Reviewers. All users start out as Reviewers and see a Reviewer interface, but can be upgraded to author status by submitting a snippet.


  • As an Author, I should be able to upload a doc file or paste plain text snippets.
    • Authors should have a simple interface for pasting plain text to submit a snippet.
    • There should be a separate field for the Authors to explain their content.
    • Authors should be able to tag the snippet similar to
    • Authors can use a “word replacer” to replace characters names if they wish to keep things secret.
      • Must be capitalization agnostic
    • Must rate content: mature audiences(default), young adult, everyone
  • Authors should see a list of their uploaded snippets as well as critiques for each one
    • Authors can mark snippets as public or private
    • Authors see new critiques along with the user
  • Authors have the ability to create psuedonyms
  • Authors need to be able to give feedback on reviewers on how helpful it was

    useless — non-useful — Acceptable-feedback — above useful — extremely useful

  • Authors can request reviews via the buddy system- They post their snippet and are presented with a group of snippets of a similar size and can buddy with another author
  • Each uploaded snippet can have multiple critiques


  • Reviewers set their default review preferences- i.e. “what they’re willing to review”
  • Reviewers interested in short stories can select a posted snippet via a set of filters, which default to their preferences
    • Snippets appear anonymous to the reviewer.
  • Reviewers can select a story based on a one-sentence substring example
  • Reviewer reputation based on author feedback of critique
  • Reviewers can become authors when they wish to post their own snippet
  • Reviewers can rate a snippet on the following scale

horrible read — boring read — Average read — good read — exciting read


  • Multiple length categories:
    • Paragraph
    • Scene
    • Chapter
    • Short Story
    • Novella

Reviewer Tool

  • Reviewer should be able to insert comments inline, highlight text, or cross off words
  • Reviewer needs to be able to save/autosave their comments as they work before submitting them
  • Should have a googledocs-collaboration feel

Tech Requirements

  • Should authenticate with OpenID credentials

Why would someone want to be a reviewer?

  • Become a better author themselves, even if they don’t submit a snippet
  • assist new authors
  • have your voice heard on what’s wrong with modern writing
  • read something new without the commitment of reading a whole book
  • taste test new authors and genres

Why would someone want to be an Author?

  • Anonymous feedback on your book
  • Help fellow authors
  • Network with other authors
  • May help alleviate writer’s block

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let me know.