Narrative Design Patterns for Data Storytelling
How narrative patterns can help you to present your story?
Recently I was reading about Data Storytelling and discovered a set of narrative design patterns that can be realy helpful to present a story based on data. Digging deeper into this, I discovered that this set was originally created for journalists, presenters and public speakers for engaging interactive environments. Interesting, right?
How does this happen?
Basically, the narrative patterns connect your narrative with the intent of the story, so if you have the story, the ideia of who the audience is and know the effect your story should have on that audience, you choose the narrative pattern that best fits your goals.
But I think it’s best to explain to you by showing these examples of how to apply narrative patterns to tell stories of data with cards: NAPA Cards. Additionally, take a look at the illustration of the groups for narrative patterns. To better understand their application, we will discuss them.
Patterns for Argumentation
Patterns for Argumentation serve the intent of persuading and convincing audiences — Riche, Hurter, Diakopoulos & Carpendale, 2018
Compare two or more data sets, concretize by illustrating abstract conceps with concrete objects and repetition as a means to search for an answer in the data are the most common patterns for argumentation.
Patterns for Flow
Patterns for flow are devices that help structure the sequencing of messages
and arguments — Riche, Hurter, Diakopoulos & Carpendale, 2018
Reveal the elements of the data progressively and eventually leading to the whole picture and the final argument, slow down and focus on a single aspect of the data or speed up the presentation of data are the most useful patterns for flow.
Patterns for Framing the Narrative
Patterns for framing can be used to integrate the audience to the
story, or conversely to keep it at a distance — Riche, Hurter, Diakopoulos & Carpendale, 2018
Creating a familiar setting that the audience can identify with, inviting the public to make-a-guess about the data and establishing a convention breaking through color or scales ate the principals patterns for framing.
Patterns for Empathy and Emotion
Emotion and empathy are critical in storytelling because they engages us with the story content: we pay attention and we perceive and reflect on the message — Riche, Hurter, Diakopoulos & Carpendale, 2018
Get the emotional responses by using gradual reveal or slowing down the narrative and use the directly addressing the audience to breaking-the-fourth-wall (originating from theater, the 4th wall is the wall between the stage and the audience).
Patterns for Engagement
Engagement can be seen as the feeling of being part of the story, of being
connected to it, and being in control over the interactions with the story’s
content — Riche, Hurter, Diakopoulos & Carpendale, 2018
Provoke the engagement by starting with a rhetorical question and imply a call-to-action. Also, asked to make-a-guess about the information and use interactions by exploration to active engagement.
Are you ready to start using the narrative patterns??
If you want to read more about it, I recommend the book Data-Driven Storytelling, reference used for this article.