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A Story Rich World - UPA NYC - Sept 14

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Presentation for UPA NYC, September 14.

Presentation for UPA NYC, September 14.


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  • Stories are part of how we communicate. Our brain may be hard-wired for stories: Blind spot – reallyl large – in center of vision. Brain is really constructing a story all the time. It’s the same as the way we see action in a cartoon. ButIf not neuroscience, storytelling in every culture around the world.So I don’t really need to tell you what a story is.
  • Now, something else you know..And how they mesh
  • And, a usability testing scenario is nothing but a story that we ask participants to complete.Almost any story can be transformed into a task for a usability test by asking someone to step into that narrative and finish it.BUT – NOT “STORY CENTERED DESIGN”The point is that stories are part of UX, not that they have to be the center of it.
  • WQBy putting stories into this cycle, we’ve done something important… we’ve brought the people back into the process – perhaps explaining why it’s a “human” centered process.
  • KBBefore we dive into UX, I’d like to take a short diversion into a little bit about what we mean by stories. Mention stories are good stuffAnyone here think that you aren’t a very good storyteller?
  • Here’s how we mostly try to communicate in business:Data. Powerpoint. Charts, graphs and tables.Are you really swayed by statistics? Or are they just part of the picture. Problem with own reference: Lever voting systemsThe problem isn’t “death by powerpoint” it’s that we’re trying to TELL people things, instead of getting them on board.
  • Metaphor of story as a conduit through which we push information is wrong (George Lakoff)Even broadcast isn’t really what we thinkBroadcast tower storySo, if this picture is wrong.. let’s think about what the right one is.It’s STORIES SHARED
  • WQ
  • USE STORIES TO CREATE THE SITUATION YOU WANT THEM TO REMEMBERit might be a story about something that needs to change – a point of painOR, how things COULD BEIf you get them to imagine the world, it’s harder not to accept it.
  • KBDescribe the story triangle.
  • The experience of atually talking to users is really rich – but that richness can be lost in reports. However you try to bring that experience back to your team, stories are an important part of it. VIRAL STORIESWhen it’s your story – you can retell it.
  • Then, you add one more thing, which is to simply use 4 magic words, and invite them to tell you the story. And, you do the most important thing of all – you give them your full attention and wait. Don’t fiddle with your notes, or start to pack up your papers. You have to invite people to tell you their story, especially if you have been delving into details or had a list of things you had to get through.
  • TRANSIT STORIESThis might grow into a story about new servicesIN FACT THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENINGWait time signs, text message or IVR servicesEven available now for other companies to make mobile apps.This is not just application of technology – but convergence of individual needs, social issues and technology to solve problems.
  • 15-20 minutesOK – so how do you get started – LOOK AT A FEW STORIES
  • This is the beginning of a story…Sets up the situation by placing it in the demographicsAlso explains why we’re going to say something unexpected.
  • Research report on mobile applications.Picks up from the last story. Show the research context as well: I’m about to say something new .. this was an example.Then, we could talk about how many other people said similar things, what we think it means,which they liked best, etc. The last paragraph is the point: If we can keep it simple enough, they might use it.We had another story from the same research – another nurse was trying to decide what phone to buy, wanted to make sure it ran a specific application she’d found – one she found valuable. Turned the tables on us to ask our advice “because we must know about this stuff”Not contradiction: still not early adopters or comfortable, but knows a good tools when they see one
  • This leads to obvious brainstorming.Reaction to the stories was to start thinking of ideasAND Reconsidering ideas in light of what we’d learnedIsn’t that what we want?Once that discussion starts, stories can shift…EXPLORING AN IDEA IN CONTEXT…If you think back to the transit ideas. One of them was to put informaiton on the web – it’s a great idea, but didn’t meet the story about Sandra out in the snow.Here’s one that does
  • At the OU, we know that a lot of people return to education to qualify for a better job. So, we can take their stories about how they made decisions about what courses to takeand turn them into a test scenario
  • We might customize this story to the participant’s situation, or elaborate it a bit more…but the point is that you can reuse the basic stories as test tasks. To take this further – you can customize the task to the person – for example, pick a subject that they are interested in. make the need more or less urgent ask if the participant would really do this (to revalidate the stories)
  • A story is a way of circulating a meme.Your goal is to have it repeated, and retold around the company.So, you have to be careful about the stories you repeatYou have to be able to back them upYou have to know what stories you want to have toldStory about eyetracking hopping over the tile.
  • Transcript

    • 1. It’s a Story–Rich World:Storytelling for UX
      Whitney Quesenbery
      UPA NYC
      14 September
    • 2. Hi!
      User researcher
      Theatre designer
      Storytelling as a way to understand user, culture, and context in UX design
      Researcher in new UI technologies
      Performance storyteller
      Storytelling as a pivotal part of the creation, performance, and design process.
    • 3. We all tell stories
      You already know what a story is…
      ..but you may not know how to use stories effectively in your work.
    • 4. Storytelling in UX
      Stories make UX personal. They remind us that everything we make is made for a real person.
      @ianeverdell
    • 5. Storytelling is already part of UX
      Understand
      If you look at a generic design process…
      Success?
      Specify
      Evaluate
      Design
    • 6. Stories are embedded in the UX cycle
      Collecting stories: hearing what other people have to say
      Understand
      Analysis: finding patterns in shared stories
      Success?
      Specify
      Evaluate
      Evaluation:testing designs to see if they tell the story well
      Design: creating ideas that embody key stories
      Design
    • 7. Storytelling is already part of UX…We just don’t call them stories
      Userresearch
      Analysis
      Field studies
      Card sorting
      Site visits
      Cluster sorting
      Content analysis
      Evaluation
      Design
      Usability Testing
      Scenarios
      Wireframes
      Prototype walk-through
      Log Analysis
    • 8. Stories add depth to UX work
      If you craft and use stories in a conscious way
      You’ll add a richer understanding of users as an input to your design process
      You’ll find new design ideas more easily
      You can be more persuasive in communicating those new, innovative, usable designs
      You can use stories to enhance the usability work you are already doing.
      You can use stories to bring people into the center of the process.
    • 9. We all tell stories
      Storytelling is how we make sense of the world: re-imagining our everyday lives as an experience to be shared with others.
      @otrops
    • 10. Listening Exercise
      Work in pairs - with someone you don’t know
      1 minutes to speak - then switch
      Speaker’s job - speak about something relatively comfortable
      Listener’s job - just listen. Don’t have to talk, interrupt or fill silences.
      Talk aboutsomething you madethat you are proud of.
    • 11. Standard “biz talk” doesn’t work
      Most of the time we try to construct a logical argument, as though just putting the facts in front of someone is the way to convince them.
      From Stephen Denning’s work on storytelling and leadership: www.stevedenning.com
    • 12. Claude Shannon was wrong*
      Stories do not work like a broadcast transmission.
      Stories are created by everyone who hears them.
      * At least about stories.
    • 13. A story is shared by everyone who hears it
      First the storyteller shapes the story
      As they listen, the audience members form an image of the story in their own minds.
    • 14. A story is shared by everyone who hears it
      The storyteller and the audience each affects the other and shapes the story they create.
      The most important relationship is between the audience and the story.
      The audience is a part of the story each time it is told.
    • 15. A story is shared by everyone who hears it…but heard by each person in their own way
      The storyteller and the audience all shape the story
      In the end, each person in the audience ‘owns’ the story, too.
    • 16. Stories use pull, not push, to persuade
      They let your audience think about something (new)…
      In a realistic situation
      With a compelling character and perspective
      And imagine how it will solve a problem
    • 17. The relationships around a story are called the Story Triangle
    • 18. Stories close a gap
      When you retell a story, you make a connection between your colleagues and the person you heard the story from.
    • 19. Any time you are listening,turn on your juicy story filter
      You are looking for stories that….
      You hear from more than one source.
      Have a lot of action detail.
      Have details that illuminate user data
      Surprise or contradict common beliefs
      And are clear, simple, and compelling.
    • 20. Ask the questions that encourage stories
      “Have you ever [done something]?”
      “How often do you [do that thing]?”
      “What makes you decide to [do that thing]?”
      “Where do you [do that thing]?”
      +
      “When was the last time you [did that thing]?”
      +
      “Tell me about that.”
      (and really listen)
    • 21. Juicy fragments can grow into a story
      “I love seeing lots of people on the metro platform. It usually means a train will arrive soon.”
      “When I’m waiting for a bus, I wish I had a way to know when it will arrive.”
      “When the bus stop isn’t well marked, I always worry whether I’m in the right place.”
      “If I’m running late, I can drive if I’m going to miss the train.”
    • 22. Crafting (and using) stories
      Stories help us empathize and experience another person’s condition. Stories appeal to our emotions and drive us to action.
      @balchenn
    • 23. Stories let build empathy for personas
      Aged 30-45Well educated45% married with children50% use the web 3-5 times a week65% use search engines
      Elizabeth, 32 years old
      Married to Joe, has a 5-year old son, Justin
      Attended State College, and manages her class alumni site
      Uses Google as her home page, and reads CNN online
      Used the web to find the name of a local official
    • 24. Stories explain unexpected user data
      Use data to setup the storyMerge demographicand other statisticswith a humansitutation
      We were ready to be disappointed. Nurses were more interested in people than technology.
      They used the Web, of course, but didn’t see social media as work. Only a few of them had phones that did more than make phone calls. Some didn’t even have Web access except at home.
      So we were taken by surprise when one nurse after another got enthusiastic about some concept sketches for mobile health sites.
    • 25. Stories explore situations and ideas
      Character The persona creates the perspective andrelationship
      Imagery Suggests theemotionalconnections
      Context Set up the problem
      Gina gave us the first clue. She was a nurse manager for the county health system. “I’m on the move all day and I have a huge case load. Patients are always throwing new questions at me. Yesterday, I really struggled to sort out a problem one patient was having with side effects. I speak a little Spanish, but just couldn’t remember the correct medical term to explain a new adjuvant the doctor wanted to try. It was so frustrating.”
      She pointed at the sketch. “I don’t have a phone that will do all that - yet, but if it’s really that simple…”
    • 26. Use stories to trigger brainstorming
      Drug dictionary formatted for a small screen.
      Multi-lingual dictionary of medical terms
      Checklists of questions patients should ask their doctor.
      Chat with a specialist
    • 27. Stories give us a new perspective
      Every interaction is a story, with the user as the "star."  This appeals to our human need to be at the center of every experience.
      @dgelman
    • 28. Stories can be test scenarios
      They create a realistic context because they are based on real stories.
      They give you a range of stories and perspectives to draw on.
    • 29. Transforming a story to a test task
      Use stories to decide on tasks thatlet the participant “finish the story”
      Another person just got promoted ahead of you. You know you are good at your job but notice that everyone else has a degree in business. Maybe it’s time to go back to school.
      Does the local college have a program you can manage with your work schedule?
      • MotivationEnough of a story to provide motivation
      • 30. Goal The task can be veryprecise, or allow the participant more freedom
    • Stories can make your usability work more effective
      Storytelling is a two-way mirror. You see yourself reflected in the experience of others.
      @nathangibbs
    • 31. Stories can spark innovation
      Start with…
      Stories you hear during customer conversations
      Explore new perspectives on a problem or goal
      Personas
      Show their behavior in new situations
      Data
      Explore the story behind the data
      Juicy fragments
      Explain the unexpected
      What’s the story outside the box
    • 32. A story is successful when it gets repeated
      Think carefully about what stories you want retold.
      Look for stories that are
      Based on real data
      The stories you want told
      Generate insights and empathy
    • 33. Thank you
      Storytelling for User Experience:Crafting stories for better design
      Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brookswhitneyq@wqusability.combrooks@media.mit.edu
      Blog and book sitewww.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling/
      Ilustrations by Calvin C. Chan available at www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/