Art of story telling in UX
Have you wondered as to why we remember certain events, songs, books, photographs etc. so well even though these memories may be very old? How is it that certain things create such an impact on us that we remember it even after years? It is because of the way they were presented, the way they were explained or projected has been so effective that certain things are still a part of our memory and still make us nostalgic. The way a story is told, not necessarily verbally, but it could also be visually or in any other form, plays a vital role in how people remember it.
Stories can be considered as a powerful tool to create long-lasting impressions and to communicate with the target audience keeping them engaged. To put it short, story-telling is a method of presenting information through immersion, allowing us to have an experience of it without really experiencing something directly ourselves.
Now, in our everyday life we hear, see or experience a lot of stories, but do they all become a part of our memory? Do we remember them all well? The answer is NO, because it’s not the story or the subject that matters much, what is important is the way it has been put across, the way it has been presented, told or shown.
While designing, we should focus on creating a compelling narrative arc which not only keeps the user at the centre but also has an effective way of communicating with them. To create designs and journeys that create space in the user’s memory, we should first visualize how a design or product can be accommodated in the life of people and then ultimately become a part of their reality.
In the designing process, there are two phases of story-telling involved, one where we brainstorm and ideate the design for the stakeholders along with the team to efficiently convey the message and the second where the final product i.e our design speaks and narrates a story to the target audience to create a positive impact on them.
When it comes to UX stories, we need to be aware that they are not made up stories, instead, it is the actual story which helps mould the lives of many for good.
To name a few, some tools we can use to carve these stories are use-cases, user journeys, persona creation, scenarios, mood boards and storyboard. These should be well-connected and uniformed for users to relate with and register in their minds. A well-structured onboarding walk through and flow is the most common way to tell a story with the right design and other incorporated elements. This enables users to recognize and relate to the journey which helps them effectively register and remember the intent in their mind.
A good User Experience is when every element of the design is well-structured and self-capable of narrating the underlying story while keeping the users engaged.
Like any good story, a clear plot and a character needs to be incorporated in a UX story too, where the idea, flow, journey and the target audience have to be clearly understood. Once we successfully identify the plot and work around it, we can then define the climax, actions, crises and the conclusion of a good UX story.
It is only when the audience leaves with a clear understanding of the design, and the message it conveys with answers, a story is successful.
Story-telling and User Experience have a few elements like planning, research and content creation in common. By using the art of story-telling, User Experience professionals can inject emotions and add value to their design and the final product for the target audience. This helps users connect with the design and relate to it which in turn is very beneficial for businesses on the whole.
With story-telling, User Experience professionals can create websites or applications which collectively link together the tangible elements and create something that is meaningful and interesting.
Now, a lot of us mistake the product to be the main character in the story and focus on revolving the story around it, but it is very important to understand that the main character of a UX story while creating User Experience journeys is the target audience, the users. The product is the supporting role which helps the main character i.e the user enhance their life in some way or the other. But, in any story, these two should co-exist and should be well connected because without the main character, the story loses its focus, and without the supporting role, the main character loses its shine.
Story-telling has a lot of benefits for all kinds of businesses, it not only enhances engagement but also improves User Experience and makes the user become the brand advocate. For design, it helps the brand effectively communicate with the target audience and create something that simplifies and enhances the user’s life altogether. The real beauty of good design does not lie on the outside but lies within the solution the product designed provides. Techved has helped to create good user experience to many brands who used website and mobile app for their business.
In conclusion, a good UX story always has a well-defined structure which is systematically linked with one another. UX stories with a good structure have more chances of capturing user attention as it causes a greater portion of our brain to light up and the neural activity increases.