Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here. – Sue Monk Kidd
We, humans, are avid readers of stories. Stories also come in a variety of sizes and formats. Everyone enjoys a satisfying conclusion to a good workplace drama or romantic exploit, whether fiction or fact. Children love fairy tales; history buffs explore biographies for insight into famous people; science lovers enjoy documentaries that explain the world around us.
Every day, we tell stories to one another. In actuality, stories make up 65% of the conversation!
They are used in nonfiction books to make learning more relatable, in commercials to draw readers in, and in meetings to persuade management of new product features. Instead of just listing facts, magazines and news programs also tell stories to engage readers and viewers.
In this post, we’ll take a look at key takeaways of Storytelling in UX design:
Power of Storytelling in UX design
Audiences are always captivated by good stories. In user experience (UX) design, you employ storytelling at every stage of the process to make sure that everything you do is focused on the needs of your users and the value you want to provide them with.
You use your insights to tell a story about who your users are, what they need, and how you’ll provide it after conducting design research to understand their needs and desires.
Creating such a story about users and their needs can make it simpler for everyone on the design team to identify with the user and bring consistency to their work.
By weaving a narrative throughout your project, you make it simple to market the final product because you already know which narrative to use to demonstrate the value your product offers.
Benefits of using storytelling:
Enables users to understand and remember insights or information more easily.
Makes the users’ experience more engaging and compelling
A well-told story can lead the audience to take action faster than otherwise
It’s crucial to keep in mind that even if you integrate story techniques into UX design, your efforts only account for a portion of the solution. The user contributes the other half.
The other advantages of storytelling won’t be realized if the user doesn’t feel an emotional connection to the product through the story you’re telling. Therefore, it’s important to comprehend how people emotionally react to design.
According to Don Norman, three levels of emotional reaction to design exist:
We all possess visceral emotion, which is a natural emotion. In other words, these are the feelings that are inherently human and over which we have little control, such as the tendency to avoid unpleasant people or to be drawn to shiny things.
The emotion we feel while carrying out a particular behavior is referred to as behavioral emotion. These are the feelings that user interfaces frequently bring out.
Reflective emotion is the feeling that arises as we think back on the past. However, when it comes to UX design, reflective emotion can also have broad implications for how users feel about a product and the likelihood that they will use it again; such as nostalgia.
The Dimension of Tone
Your storytelling must have a certain tone. Whether it is blunt and businesslike, relaxed and conversational, or something completely different. In a book, the author’s voice determines the tone; in UX design, images and text must collaborate to support a product’s tone.
Therefore, it’s crucial that everyone working on a particular project is aware of the tone of the brand as a whole or the project in particular.
While words are important for setting the tone, keep in mind that images are just as important. For instance, adding black and white images of trees to one or two screens of a fitness tracking device that features beautiful color photography of fit people exercising would be out of character for the device and upsetting to users.
Storytelling that raises awareness does so by evoking strong feelings. Joy, surprise, sadness, rage, fear, and disgust are all human emotions. In most cases, you want to relieve your user of negative emotion and aim for joy, unless you design the scariest rollercoaster experience possible.
Stories are effective because they captivate us, elicit strong feelings, keep us entertained, deepen our understanding, and strengthen our memory.
Visceral emotion, behavioral emotion, and reflective emotion are the three levels of emotional response to design that Don Norman of the Nielsen Norman Group identified as being possible when using storytelling techniques in UX design.
UX designers should carefully consider how to apply the many storytelling elements that can be incorporated into their work.
A UX design must maintain a consistent tone throughout. Images and words should complement one another to create the voice of a brand or product because tone encourages familiarity and trust.