Designers can create engaging digital experiences by keeping storytelling at their core.
The lives of the people who came before us were once whispered into cave walls, shared around bonfires, or written down and passed on in the form of stories. These stories have been passed down through the years, shaping the world that we live in.
Stories that have been shared all over the world. Stories that have changed. Their purpose, to communicate, explore and persuade, as well as inspire, has not changed.
Communication has changed in today’s digital world. Information is distributed through multiple mass media channels and transmitted via constantly evolving technology.
Information is being copied, rewritten, and then thrown out in 140-character blurbs. This has led to the loss of the personal touch that creates emotional connections.
There is so much saturation. How can you reach your audience and make a more profound connection?
This is why storytelling is so important.
Stories appeal to more people than intellect. They appeal to emotions and that’s why they can create a human connection. This is the best motivator to take action.
Users experience designers are responsible for creating positive, meaningful, and memorable experiences. They can use stories to help bring life and meaning into complex ideas.
Q. Q. How do you create a great story?
Stories that feature a hero who wants to achieve a goal and must overcome obstacles to do so are the most memorable. This basic structure is the basis of most movies and books. These same principles can be used to design UX for unforgettable user experiences.
Let’s begin with this storytelling framework to create the perfect user experience.
1. Who’s the hero (or your user)?
User design starts with defining your user’s persona. You can create a fictional representation of your user based on observation and research. You can build a narrative about your user to connect with them on a deeper level.
You will be able to empathize and relate to your user once you get to know him. This allows you to better understand your user and help him to meet his needs.
Refer to your data for more details about your users’ needs, behaviors, goals, and challenges.
These personas can be used to create stories and craft stories about your fabled users that will help you make the project more real.
2. What’s the barrier (or the problem the user is facing)?
Designers often get too caught up in creating a solution or experience without thinking about what the user is getting. You should think about the purpose of the project that you are designing.
It is important to understand your user’s struggles and what “barriers” they face to create the ideal solution.
You should ask the following questions: What do they need? What are the problems that the user faces? What can you do to help the user? What does your product/service do to help the user?
Once you have identified your user, it is important to understand their motivations and empathize with them to give your 100%.
It is easy to identify the barriers that prevent you from crafting a compelling brand story. Then, it will be easier to create authentic solutions and engage your audience.
3. Where’s the destination (or the point the user wants to get to)?
A product or service that is successful helps users overcome their barriers and takes them to their desired destination.
A destination is something you and your user can share. This adds meaning and improves the experience. Understanding the value of your project can help you understand how it applies in real life and what the ideal outcome would look like.
What does your user expect from you at the end of each day? Your “destination” is the answer.
Do not get too involved in the mundane tasks of designing. Remember that your task is to guide your audience to their “destinations”.
Determining the “destination”, adds purpose and drive, giving you a solid end goal.
Your final destination is the end of your story. Make it happy for your user.
Bonus: 3 TED Talks about Effective Storytelling
These 3 TED Talks focus on creative and efficient storytelling techniques in marketing.
Andrew Stanton, “The Clues To A Great Story”
Stanton, among other things, brought us “Toy Story” (and “WALL-E”) In this TED talk, he shares his insights into great storytelling. He explained that stories can help people understand themselves. This helps people see the similarities between them.
Stanton talks about connection as well as engagement. Stanton and his partner in writing came up with “The Unifying Theory 2 + 2”. This theory states that you never give an audience “4”; instead, you give them 2 + 2, and then make them think of 4.
JJAbrams – “The Mystery Box”.
JJ Abrams is a TV writer/director and film director. He believes that mystery is what ignites the imagination.
Infusing mystery into your brand story will “invoke wonder” and encourage interaction. This is all about engagement and connection with the brand. Using Mystery can help you take it to a deeper level.
Nancy Duarte, “Uncovering The Structure of the Greatest Communicators”,
Nancy Duarte, a writer, and graphic designer became a “presentation specialist” after realizing that great storytellers use a similar structure to tell their stories. She likens Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone speech in 2007.
These TED Talks provide great examples of creative storytelling for marketers looking to improve their skills as storytellers.
How to create a wonderful UX or get your happily ever after?
To create a great user experience, you need to build a story around your users. This will help you understand their motivations and how they make their lives easier. This story-telling framework should be used by keeping your “heroes”, “barriers” as well as their desired “destinations” in view.
Creativity is all about making the most of what you have. It is important to think about the media. It is important to think about the media and the best medium for telling the story.
Good creative storytelling boils down to understanding the target market and the brand. Communication does not have to be demographically relevant. However, they must be emotionally relevant. It is important to have cohesive storytelling: the story and message must be communicated using all elements of the medium: color, tone, image, space, and texture.