Writing Case Studies like a Story

Daily Design
4 min readJul 16, 2022

How to adopt Freytag’s Pyramid methodology to write your case studies.

In yesterday’s story, I spoke about the importance of composing case studies in story formats. Write ups that are engaging and tell their stories will allow our case studies to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, being able to tell our stories can also help potential employers and hiring managers formulate what our design thinking process is like and showcase our communication skills.

I mentioned that our write ups should be tailored according to the case studies themselves, and that we should avoid generalized templates because each case study is unique in its approach. However, in the case of today’s post, I’ll talk about Freytag, a German playwrite known for his five-part approach to structuring dramas. His methodology is often known as “Freytag’s Pyramid” and is adopted in many of the current plays, stories, and movies we see today.

Freytag’s Pyramid that consists of 5 steps — Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution

ONE | Exposition

As mentioned in yesterday’s story, the exposition is where the story begins; the part in which important information are given to provide context, and to set the stage for the rest of the story.

The exposition of our case studies should give our audiences a headline description of the project along with the motivations behind it. We must have reasons why we want to showcase this specific project. Are we proud of the business impacts of our redesign? Is this a passion project that you enjoyed?

Our motivations for designing our case studies should peak our audiences’ interests and aid in their engagement. This is also where we should list our roles within the project and other individuals that we’ve worked with to demonstrate teamwork and collaboration.

TWO | Rising Action

The rising action phase consists of a progressive series of events that eventually see all of them snowball into a climax.

Once we’ve set the stage for our case studies’ expositions, we need to start building up towards the climax. In case studies terms, we should be speaking more about which design process we chose to implement and the challenges that we faced within each step of the way. Did we have a team disagreement at the start of our collaboration…