Add more aggregation levels
Actually there's 3 levels (activity, task, sub task). It would be very useful to be able to split any levels into sub ones.
You can have a look at the board structure edit functions of leankit.com (just for this part, otherwise I prefer storiesonboard :-))
I too think 2 levels is not quite enough. At least 3 would be needed. Or at least the option of adding more.
I think four levels (or even the ability to customize the number of levels) will give Stories on Board a major USP / Market differentiator in terms of other similar toolsets. Agile / SCRUM suggests four levels (Theme > Epic > Feature > Story) for many strong technical reasons yet very few if any toolsets support this, JIRA allows Themes (and Features?) but only as effectively labels and the USM plugins for JIRA such as Bauer only support two levels (Epic > Story). Most organisations that conduct Agile in a SAFe environment are crying out for this capability because it makes big picture orchestration far more effective.
Thanks for the great explanation Ryan! We'll discuss it with our team.
We do this on a wall today. I then use another online tool to represent what we did on the wall. The tool we currently use is a lot more free form, so the organization is really up to us. I think one of the things your tool has going for it is that it isn't free form, and because it isn't, can be smarter about expanding/collapsing, and doing cooler things like estimate roll up.
The problem is that since it isn't free form, it needs to be just a little more aggregate-able so that we can clearly see the amount of detail we need. I think level 2 and 3 are great starts. I would suggest considering an additional level, and maybe 2 additional levels. That would give me the ability to speak with the varying audiences at the depth they need, without overwhelming them with the details.
Do you have a method already for doing this a physical board?
I agree -- typically in our story mapping, the top level is actually personas. We then move into the narrative. We do this with grouping, like a "big activity" -- something that takes hours or the steps are done ad hoc but are relatively the same (ie: I wake up in the morning). We then break that down into the steps (ie: I get out of bed, I make breakfast). We then write details for each (I lift my legs, etc.).
The problem is that some "big activities" for us can be broken down a lot. So we try to subgroup that even more. One example would be like "scenarios" for getting out of bed. Maybe you were late, or maybe some people are paralyzed and have an edge case. Breaking that down is useful to logically colocate cards related to that. And, with your fairly unique way of showing/hiding that detail in the 'level boards', we could do that and ignore the noise at those deeper levels.
I'm in favour of more levels, but for me I only want the extra levels for the backbone. In my short experience with storiesonboard, this is where I'm encountering some tension. Jeff mentions in his book (User Story Mapping, pg 23) that "the top of the map is the backbone, which sometimes has a couple of different levels. [snip] But, when it gets really long, it's useful to go up one more level to summarize things further".
Jason Little commented
I like to have a level to represent personas as well.