It’s a Story–Rich World:Storytelling for UX Whitney Quesenbery UPA NYC 14 September
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.
We all tell stories You already know what a story is… ..but you may not know how to use stories effectively in your work.
Storytelling in UX Stories make UX personal. They remind us that everything we make is made for a real person. @ianeverdell
Storytelling is already part of UX Understand If you look at a generic design process… Success? Specify Evaluate Design
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Claude Shannon was wrong* Stories do not work like a broadcast transmission. Stories are created by everyone who hears them. * At least about stories.
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.
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.
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.
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
The relationships around a story are called the Story Triangle
Stories close a gap When you retell a story, you make a connection between your colleagues and the person you heard the story from.
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.
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)
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.”
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
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
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.
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…”
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Thank you Storytelling for User Experience:Crafting stories for better design Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brookswhitneyq@firstname.lastname@example.org Blog and book sitewww.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling/ Ilustrations by Calvin C. Chan available at www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/