Storytelling in UX design
No matter if you are writing a case study, product description, or trying to apply storytelling in UX by designing content for your website or application, the clue of creating good content is to make people interested in it and give them a reason to go further. Think about the last time when you stayed up late only to finish the chapter of some book. Or to watch one more episode of some Netflix series. Why does it never happen when you try to read the manual of your new washing machine or the recent edition of the Civil Code?
See, storytelling may be a natural way of communicating, but that doesn’t mean that every piece of communication is storytelling. Powerful stories should engage the audience, convey some message, information or knowledge and, at the same time, entertain. Be memorable. And our brains like things that make us feel something… Think about it: you’re reading a product description of a washing machine. Technical details, something about why “it’s best”, that’s it. And it could all tell a story. You can tell a story about anything in the world, even a washing machine, lamp or screws, in such a way that it will move people like the story of Romeo and Juliet. If instead of mere facts you give your audience a story with characters they can relate to and empathize with, you’ll drastically change your communication and make it more successful.
Let’s try to figure out what makes the Netflix series more engaging. Any ideas?
1. The setting
Where and when does the story take place? Setting refers to the location and the time of the events as well as other cultural and social conditions in which the characters of your story exist.
2. The plot
Let’s start with that: there IS a plot. When was the last time you saw a plot in the manual? No wonder, that reading them is less amusing than reading a good novel or watching TV series. There is no story, no mystery, and no fun.
3. The unknown
When you were reading the last words of the chapter of some Stephen King’s book, you are dying to find out what will happen next. The same happens when you watch a TV series. Surprisingly, they always stop at the worst moment, when something important is just about to happen!
Interfaces are stories, and every designer is a storyteller – whether you’re designing a landing page, a product narrative, a signup form, or a chatbot conversation, you need to think about people who will interact with it. Show a bit of empathy and make it as little painful as possible. How to do it? Here are some hints!