Storytellingfor User ExperienceA half-day workshopWhitney QuesenberyWQusability@whitneyq
Hi!         User researcher         Theatre designer         Storytelling as a way to understand user, culture,        ...
Stories
connect
usStories
make
UX
personal.
They
remind
us
that
everything
we
make
is
made
for
a
real
person.
            ...
We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is…4
We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is…...but you may not know howto use stories effectively inyour work. 4
Claude Shannon was wrong*Stories are not a broadcast transmission. ***    At least about stories.**   Both of these pictur...
Stories create relationships                    Story      Storyteller              Audience6
A story is shared by everyone who hears it              First the storyteller shapes the              story7
A story is shared by everyone who hears it              First the storyteller shapes the              story               ...
The audience is part of the story                                    The storyteller                                    an...
The audience is part of the story                                    The storyteller                                    an...
Stories close a gap                         User            Story as            collected                                 ...
Stories communicate efficientlyTanner was deep into a Skatepunkz game—allthe way up to level 12—when he got a buddymessage...
Storytelling
in
UXA
good
story
will
evoke
emo>on.
We
humans
remember
emo>ons
best.
                             @mike_me_up
Storytelling is already part of UX          Collecting stories helps us          understand people and                    ...
Storytelling is already part of UX…We just don’t call them stories      User research      Ethnography      Contextual inq...
Stories have many purposes in UX                    Meeting the users                    Illustrating user needs        ...
Stories
start
with
listeningStorytelling
is
a
two‐way
mirror.
You
see
yourself
reflected
in
the
experience
of
others.      ...
FIGURE 2-6Each person hears a story in their own way              If it was easy to get              info about the next  ...
Listening Exercise     Tell the other person about a time when everything     seemed to go right... or wrong.17
Listening Exercise    Two roles: listener and speaker     Decide who will go first.    Speaker’s job - tell the other per...
Be an active listener   Show that you are aware of the other person   Be quiet. Give the person time to think as well   ...
User               Story asAsk the     questions that               collected       encourage stories            “Have you...
Listen for juicy fragmentsAny time you listen to someone you can collect storiesLook for stories that….   You hear from m...
Unexpected stories... We were ready to be disappointed.             Use data to set Nurses were more interested in people...
Unexpected stories Gina gave us the first tidbit. She was a         Character nurse manager for the county health        ...
Stories
introduce
us
to
peopleStorytelling
is
how
we
make
sense
of
the
world:
re‐imagining
our
everyday
lives
as
an
experi...
Stories turn a profileinto a personaAged 30-4545% married with children65% college educatedUse the web 3-5 times a weekEliz...
Create a story that introduces a user orexplains a user need                        Start from an experience in your work...
Sharing your story   Share your story with someone else       Find a partner.        Each of you will tell your story to...
First story feedback   How did that go       Story tellers:        Were you able to tell the story you wanted to tell?  ...
What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters Events28
What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters EventsBut they also have Emotions Imagery Interaction28
Add context and imagery                             Find a new partner                             Pick 2-3 cards from  ...
Feedback   How did that go?       How does it feel to have a UX story include imagery and emotion?       How do you inc...
Stories
can
be
told
many
waysStorytelling
is
a
two‐way
mirror.
You
see
yourself
reflected
in
the
experience
of
others.
    ...
Story structures and perspectives   Some stories are a simple narrative       Prescriptive structure   Framing structur...
The hero’s journey33
Change perspective or structure                     Use the Story Structure cards                     Which structure ma...
Feedback   How does the story change when the perspective changes?       Does it have a different meaning?       Did yo...
From
stories
to
innova>onStories
help
us
empathize
and
experience
another
person’s
condi>on.
Stories
appeal
to
our
emo>ons...
Stories can spark innovationThey can start from...   Stories you hear during from (or    about) users            Explore...
Juicy fragments can grow into a story                                                                       le      “When ...
Stories explore situations and context There is nothing more frustrating than        Context                             ...
Stories explore situations and context (2) Much as Ian loved staying out with his       Context                          ...
Stories start brainstormingSigns on the platformwith when the train willarrive.          Text message with          the ti...
A new ending to Sandra’s storyAfter she’d waited for a few minutes,            Sets up a possibleSandra brushed enough sn...
Craft stories for brainstorming   Start from a juicy fragment, analysis    data, or a usability problem   Construct a st...
Feedback   What happens if you write the story for a different persona?   Or change       a starting assumption       ...
Incorpora>ng
stories
into
UX
deliverables Every
interac>on
is
a
story,
with
the
user
as
 the
"star."

This
appeals
to
our
...
There are many ways to tell a story                     Elevator stories                     Stories you tell around a t...
Illustrate problems as a story47
Show the interaction as a storyboard or comic48
Weave stories into your reports49
Stories
as
usability
test
tasksStories
make
things
meaningful,
moving
and
memorable.                              @iaexper...
Stories can be test scenarios   Test scenarios let the    participant “finish the story”   They create a realistic contex...
Stories for evaluation create a starting point   You can create a story that provides the motivation, but    allows varia...
Create a usability test scenario   Start from one of your stories, and turn    it into a test scenario   What is the bas...
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Storytelling for UX Workshop

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  • Who are they?\n Experience in UX\n Experience with stories\n What questions do they want to have answered today?\n
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  • Storytelling for UX Workshop

    1. 1. Storytellingfor User ExperienceA half-day workshopWhitney QuesenberyWQusability@whitneyq
    2. 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.  How about you?
    3. 3. Stories
connect
usStories
make
UX
personal.
They
remind
us
that
everything
we
make
is
made
for
a
real
person.
 @ianeverdell
    4. 4. We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is…4
    5. 5. We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is…...but you may not know howto use stories effectively inyour work. 4
    6. 6. Claude Shannon was wrong*Stories are not a broadcast transmission. *** At least about stories.** Both of these pictures are wrong5
    7. 7. Stories create relationships Story Storyteller Audience6
    8. 8. A story is shared by everyone who hears it First the storyteller shapes the story7
    9. 9. 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.7
    10. 10. The audience is part of the story The storyteller and the audience affect each other and shape the story they create.8
    11. 11. The audience is part of the story The storyteller and the audience affect each other and shape the story they create.The most importantrelationship is betweenthe audience and thestory. 8
    12. 12. Stories close a gap User Story as collected When you retell a story, you make a connection between your colleagues and the person you heard the Story asUX person re-told story from. Our colleagues (audience) 9
    13. 13. Stories communicate efficientlyTanner was deep into a Skatepunkz game—allthe way up to level 12—when he got a buddymessage from his friend, Steve, with a questionabout his homework.He looked up with a start. Almost bedtime andhis homework was still not done. Mom or Dadwould be in any minute.  What can we learn about Tanner from this short story?10
    14. 14. Storytelling
in
UXA
good
story
will
evoke
emo>on.
We
humans
remember
emo>ons
best.
 @mike_me_up
    15. 15. Storytelling is already part of UX Collecting stories helps us understand people and Understand goals, context.... Finding themes and patterns is the first step in identifying requirements Evaluate Success? SpecifyUsability evaluation isa way of trying thestory out to see if itworks for other Designpeople, too. Design tells a new story that changes something about the world 12
    16. 16. Storytelling is already part of UX…We just don’t call them stories User research Ethnography Contextual inquiry Understand Personas Site visits Affinity analysis Card sorting Stories we share through the user Evaluate Specify experienceUsability TestingWalk-throughsAnalytics Scenarios Design Storyboards Wireframes Prototypes 13
    17. 17. Stories have many purposes in UX  Meeting the users  Illustrating user needs  Points of pain  Brainstorming  Success stories  Design exploration  Evaluation task14
    18. 18. Stories
start
with
listeningStorytelling
is
a
two‐way
mirror.
You
see
yourself
reflected
in
the
experience
of
others. @nathangibbs
    19. 19. FIGURE 2-6Each person hears a story in their own way If it was easy to get info about the next bus, she would not What’s her rush? have to worry. London trains run well into the evening, even if there are only 2 an hour …After the show, Jane couldn’t decide whether to take a taxi or a bus across town…She really didn’t want to miss the 10:45pm train… I bet she doesn’t want to miss it. On my line, there’s only one train after 9pm. Miss that, and you’re sleeping in the station.16
    20. 20. Listening Exercise Tell the other person about a time when everything seemed to go right... or wrong.17
    21. 21. Listening Exercise  Two roles: listener and speaker Decide who will go first.  Speaker’s job - tell the other person about something (we’ll tell you what)  Listener’s job - just listen. Don’t have to talk, interrupt or fill silences Tell the other person about a time when everything seemed to go right... or wrong.17
    22. 22. Be an active listener Show that you are aware of the other person Be quiet. Give the person time to think as well as to talk. Use verbal and non-verbal gestures to “take your turn” in the conversation without redirecting it. Show warmth and caring about what you are hearing. Reflect back what you hear, when appropriate, by responding to what you heard or restating 18
    23. 23. User Story asAsk the questions that collected 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]?” + Story asUX person “When was the re-told last time you [did that thing]?” Our colleagues (audience) + “Tell me about that.” (and really listen) 19
    24. 24. Listen for juicy fragmentsAny time you listen to someone you can collect storiesLook 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
    25. 25. Unexpected stories... We were ready to be disappointed.  Use data to set Nurses were more interested in people up the story Merge demographic than technology. and other statistics with a human They used the Web, of course, but didn’t situation 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.21
    26. 26. Unexpected stories Gina gave us the first tidbit. She was a  Character nurse manager for the county health The persona creates the perspective and system. “I’m on the move all day and I relationship have a huge case load. Patients are always throwing new questions at me. Yesterday, I really struggled to sort out a  Imagery Suggests the problem one patient was having with emotional side effects. I speak a little Spanish, but connections just couldn’t remember the correct medical term to explain a new adjuvant  Context the doctor wanted to try. It was so Set up the problem 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…”22
    27. 27. Stories
introduce
us
to
peopleStorytelling
is
how
we
make
sense
of
the
world:
re‐imagining
our
everyday
lives
as
an
experience
to
be
shared
with
others. 





















@otrops
    28. 28. Stories turn a profileinto a personaAged 30-4545% married with children65% college educatedUse the web 3-5 times a weekElizabeth, 32 years oldMarried to Joe, has a 5-year old son,JustinAttended State College, and managesher class alumni siteUses Google as her home page, andreads CNN onlineUsed the web to find the name of alocal official 24
    29. 29. Create a story that introduces a user orexplains a user need  Start from an experience in your work. Think about a specific person or event. Maybe it changed your own thinking Maybe a story about ...  How someone used your product  A need they didn’t even know they had  A delightful experience  A painful experience  Use the Story Basics cards to gather your ideas about the story  Craft story you can tell in ~ 2 minutes that introduces that person25
    30. 30. Sharing your story Share your story with someone else  Find a partner. Each of you will tell your story to the other person And respond with an appreciation I’ll call ‘time’  If you finish before the timer, just wait. If you don’t get done in time, wrap up as quickly as you can.26
    31. 31. First story feedback How did that go  Story tellers: Were you able to tell the story you wanted to tell?  Story listeners: What did you learn from the story? Did the story you heard suggest another story? Can you retell the story you heard?  Is it easier to remember a complex situation when it’s part of a story? 27
    32. 32. What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters Events28
    33. 33. What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters EventsBut they also have Emotions Imagery Interaction28
    34. 34. Add context and imagery  Find a new partner  Pick 2-3 cards from these groups to see what ideas they spark for ways to add them to your story.  Share your stories (just like last time)29
    35. 35. Feedback How did that go?  How does it feel to have a UX story include imagery and emotion?  How do you include points of emotional connection when you tell a story in a business setting?  What do you remember most from the stories you heard?  30
    36. 36. Stories
can
be
told
many
waysStorytelling
is
a
two‐way
mirror.
You
see
yourself
reflected
in
the
experience
of
others.
 @nathangibbs
    37. 37. Story structures and perspectives Some stories are a simple narrative  Prescriptive structure Framing structures create contrast  Me - Them - Me  Here - There - Here  Now - Then - Now Stories can explain a situation or set a context  Layered  Contextual interlude Journeys show obstacles overcome  A hero’s journey 32
    38. 38. The hero’s journey33
    39. 39. Change perspective or structure  Use the Story Structure cards  Which structure matches the story best?  With a partner, try telling the same story twice, from two different perspectives.34
    40. 40. Feedback How does the story change when the perspective changes?  Does it have a different meaning?  Did you want to tell it in a new way?  Who is the hero of the story?35
    41. 41. From
stories
to
innova>onStories
help
us
empathize
and
experience
another
person’s
condi>on.
Stories
appeal
to
our
emo>ons
and
drive
us
to
ac>on. @balchenn
    42. 42. Stories can spark innovationThey can start from... Stories you hear during from (or about) users  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 37
    43. 43. Juicy fragments can grow into a story le “When I’m ts of peop waiting eeing lo form. It for a bus, I wi “I love s tro plat a way to kn sh I had e on the m eans a train w ill ow when m it will arriv e.” usually n.” o a rrive so “When the bu nning late, I can drive marked, I a s stop isn’t well“If I’m ru ain.” lways worr y whether Iif I’m go ing to miss the tr in the right place.” ’m 38
    44. 44. Stories explore situations and context There is nothing more frustrating than  Context Set up the problem waiting for the bus. On a suburban road. In the snow.  Character The persona creates Sandra didn’t like snow much anyway, the perspective and but she liked standing at her bus stop relationship even less, with snow oozing into her boots and cars splashing ice at her.  Imagery Suggests the Had she missed it? Was it right around emotional the corner? Was it even running with all connections this snow? Was anything going to get her to work on time today?39
    45. 45. Stories explore situations and context (2) Much as Ian loved staying out with his  Context Different setting friends until the pubs closed, he hated getting back home late at night.  Character Different person and Was the train still running, or did he situation have to trudge over to the stop for the night bus -- 5 blocks that seemed much longer after a few beers.  Same basic problem And there was the tedium of watching the bus wind through the streets.40
    46. 46. Stories start brainstormingSigns on the platformwith when the train willarrive. Text message with the time the next bus will arrive. App that taps into transit information for bus or train locations. Website with Bus checks off its information arrival on the schedule. 41
    47. 47. A new ending to Sandra’s storyAfter she’d waited for a few minutes,  Sets up a possibleSandra brushed enough snow off the sign solutionto be able to read the stop number.She had the RideFind number in herphone’s contact list, so all she had to dowas enter the number of the bus stop into atext message.A couple of seconds later, the reply cameback. The bus was 10 minutes away,running late. She’d get to work thismorning. Sign for a service in Washington DC 42
    48. 48. Craft stories for brainstorming Start from a juicy fragment, analysis data, or a usability problem Construct a story that sets up the context... but does not provide a solution. Be sure you ground the story with a character (or persona), a context (place, time, situation), a motivation, and a problem. 43
    49. 49. Feedback What happens if you write the story for a different persona? Or change  a starting assumption  technology enablers  rules or other constraints 44
    50. 50. Incorpora>ng
stories
into
UX
deliverables Every
interac>on
is
a
story,
with
the
user
as
 the
"star."

This
appeals
to
our
human
need
 to
be
at
the
center
of
every
experience.
 @dgelman
    51. 51. There are many ways to tell a story  Elevator stories  Stories you tell around a table  Written stories  Presenting a report  Comic or storyboard  Visual collage  In a formal presentation46
    52. 52. Illustrate problems as a story47
    53. 53. Show the interaction as a storyboard or comic48
    54. 54. Weave stories into your reports49
    55. 55. Stories
as
usability
test
tasksStories
make
things
meaningful,
moving
and
memorable. @iaexperience

    56. 56. Stories can be test scenarios Test scenarios let the participant “finish the story” They create a realistic context because they are based on real stories. They give you a range of stories and perspectives to draw on. 51
    57. 57. Stories for evaluation create a starting point You can create a story that provides the motivation, but allows variation in how the scenario is completed Another person just got promoted  Motivation ahead of you. You know you are good at Create a story for your job but notice that everyone else motivation, or build one has a degree in business. You are based on what you know about them thinking about whether this is a good option for you.  Goals What questions do you need to answer Let them identify their goals in this scenario first? (OK). Let’s see if the local college has a  And then, get them started program that will work for you. in meeting their goals 52
    58. 58. Create a usability test scenario Start from one of your stories, and turn it into a test scenario What is the basic scenario you want the participant to complete? How much can the scenario vary based on their specific interests?  Are there different motivations or starting points?  Are there many things they can find, use or buy that they can choose from?  How much variation is there in how the scenario can be completed?53
    59. 59. Stories
can
make
your
UX
work
richer
and
more
persuasiveStories
take
our
audience
on
a
journey
and
enable
leaps
of
faith.
 @MarkErhardt
    60. 60. Stories use pull, not push, to persuadeThey let your audience thinkabout something (new)…In a realistic situationWith a compelling characterand perspectiveAnd imagine how it will solve aproblem 55
    61. 61. A story is successful when it gets repeatedThink carefully about whatstories you want retold.Look for stories that are Based on real data The stories you want told Generate insights and empathy 56
    62. 62. Stories add depth to UX workIf you craft and use stories in a conscious way, you will Add a richer understanding of users to your design process Find new design ideas more easily Be more persuasive about innovative ideas Enhance the usability work you are already doing Bring people into the center of the process 57
    63. 63. Thank you Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting stories for better design Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks whitneyq@wqusability.com brooks@media.mit.edu Blog and book site www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling/ Illustrations by Calvin C. Chan available at www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/58
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