THE BEAUTY OF STORYTELLING IN UX

What is a Story?

It’s common to think of stories as a form of entertainment, but in order to really understand what stories are, it’s important to view storytelling as a specific communication tool.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is an ancient craft; its power is timeless because good stories will always captivate audiences, whatever the medium. Storytelling is used in design as a technique to get insight into users, build empathy and access them emotionally. With stories, designers speak to increase the appeal of what they offer and provide a solid understanding of the users. Good user experience depends on the success of users’ achieving their goals “usability-wise”,

Storytelling is the framework we use to reach users. As we learn about our world through metaphors, not bullet-point specifications, storytelling is the best way to relate to audiences. Effective storytelling means going beyond getting users emotionally invested, to keeping them engaged after their experiences, too, so they attach more meaning to our products/services.

Aristotle on Storytelling.

The classical Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 b.c.e.) made many groundbreaking discoveries about the way people interact, masterfully breaking down a phenomenon such as public speaking into its constituent parts. His observations on the art of storytelling are another great gift to the fund of wisdom we can use in UX design. By focusing on each of these Aristotle’s seven aspects of storytelling we’ll be on the right track to building designs that bring our users on board.

The persuasion triad

Aristotle identified the “three appeals” that make it up 23 centuries ago, when the known universe was smaller, they are timeless. Persuaders of all types have been relying on them since, including we who appeal to users through UX design.

From debating in school to selling iphone on TV, persuaders state a case to win over an audience in order for the latter to do something. The persuader needs a) an objective, b) an audience, and c) to reach that audience with a message.

Aristotle identified that the art of persuasion consisted of three parts:

Logos — Appealing to Logic

A persuader uses facts, statistics, quotations from reputable sources/experts, as well as existing knowledge.

Pathos — Appealing to Emotions

Pathos involves delivering the argument in a way that appeals to the audience’s emotions. Logos alone has facts that are cold, flat and ‘dead’

Ethos — Appealing to Ethics, Morals, and Character

Ethos has to do with who the persuader is. His/her identity will have a great impact on how the audience takes the message.

First, let’s remember that we as designers “speak” through our designs. The user’s experience flows across many moments, as opposed to being restricted to a single point in time. The user’s experience flows across many moments, as opposed to being restricted to a single point in time. Therefore, in order to appeal to them, we use a technique called storytelling.

The Seven Ways to Win in Storytelling relates to UX case studies.

Plot

We define the plot at the start of our project to keep a clear vision through the process. A good plot will help the other elements fall into place — What are users trying to achieve/overcome?

A journey of how your users experience when using your product and conflict is a challenge your users face and they hope that your product is the solution.

Character

Here, we define our target audience, because our users are most of what “characters” is about—Who are the users: not just demographically, but what insights do you require to understand what they’re truly like and their real needs?

The main character should be your users as they lead the story you are telling. Your product is the supporting role and it helps transform your main character’s life, to a better one.

Theme

The theme can be tricky: it’s here where we have to differentiate our company from competitors. Yet, to establish trust with users, we have to make our design conform to the standard of our industry. So, with the same plot and characters as our competition. — How can you establish a trustworthy presence to them and still set yourself apart from competitors? How do you reflect on the overall obstacles users must overcome?

UX Design is about resolving conflicts your user deals with. Thus, you start with a good understanding of your user and a user’s pain points!

Diction

It is how our site “talks” to the user, i.e., formally or informally. That tone will greatly influence how users perceive our design — What will your design say to users and how?

During your design process, you need to understand when and where your users need your product.

Melody

It’s the total set of design patterns and is the logical base that users will recognise. — Will the overall design pattern appear pleasant and predictable to users, moving them emotionally?

We’ve based our design on the industry standard.

Decor

It places emphasis on the “setting” that we’ve already established. This is how we show our UX design — How will you present everything so the graphics match the setting the users can sense? Is a classic design or a stylized, niche layout in step with their expectations?

Don’t underestimate the impact of small things like colors, fonts, and layout — the combination of all these three elements creates the very first impression of your product, reinforces your storytelling and design.

Spectacle

These are its special features, the little aspects that can impress users. These will stick in their minds. — How can you make your design outstanding so users will remember it?

Every image you share, every word you write, every design element you create all leads back to the user. So, come up with your brand’s story

We Are All Storytellers

This is an intuitive leap. We started by talking about reading a story to a child or an experienced educator and a face. Before you start rifling through college courses, stop, and please answer this question:

what did you do at work today? Now, you might not want to answer that question in much detail for me, a stranger, but if your partner or child asked it, you’d give them a full and frank answer. It may sound a little like this:

I arrived at the office, and Ria wished me good morning while going to my desk and I opened my mails and gone through and replied if needed, next gone through the todo list the work started working at the lunchtime had a good meal with some employees and had a walk and conversation for some time then back to my work in the evening there is an event which I have participated so I came late to home.

That’s a story — no drama, no acting talent, and no training required. Each and every one of us tells stories all the time. We may not realize we’re telling stories because they’re so commonplace in our lives, but the truth is that we’re all storytellers, all the time. Sometimes, the stories we relate are true; other times, we have to fluff and fudge the facts so as to aid in our ‘survival’

Use storytelling throughout the design process, incorporating user personas to help map out users’ likely experiences and gain empathic insights. This will enable you to watch your users’ world as you develop prototypes that can match their expectations, build rapport, surprise them with appropriate nice-to-haves, and leave positive, lasting impressions. Ultimately, your design should show you’ve used storytelling to predict your target users’ actions at every level possible. The narratives in your stories are “magic mirrors” — representing your fine-tuned empathy and connecting with users’ values — in which users discover how to make their own happy endings.

Thanks for reading. 🙏

An enthusiastic UX designer optimizing various design principles and research methods to make products usable to a wide-arrayed customer base.