Storytelling in Product Development: Knowing your users & their stories

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I believe that every great product begins with a great story.

However, during product development, many teams can easily become execution focused -- focusing on the "what" and "how" of their product and leaving the important "why" behind.

This presentation explores how we might apply principles from storytelling to our product development process to help us ensure the "why" is a constant as we development our products. I explore companies such as Square and Fab and also investigate the world of filmmaking, with great insights from Pixar, to provide examples of how we might put this into action.

www.sarahdoody.com

* Presentation was originally given at Asbury Agile on October 2, 2013 in Asbury Park, NJ.

Published in: Design, Business

Storytelling in Product Development: Knowing your users & their stories

  1. 1. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories 1 Storytelling in Product Development Knowing your users & their stories @sarahdoody Sarah Doody www.sarahdoody.com sarah@sarahdoody.com #storytellingUX October 2, 2013
  2. 2. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Every great product starts with a great story.
  3. 3. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories I’m a user experience designer. But I realized that above all, I’m a storyteller.
  4. 4. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Neuroscience of fact and fiction.
  5. 5. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Broca’s area Wernicke’s area Brain’s response to fact
  6. 6. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Broca’s area (language) Wernicke’s area (language) Brains response to fiction Frontal cortex (emotion) Motor cortex (movement) Sensory cortex (sensation / touch) Olfactory cortex (smell)
  7. 7. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Novels (stories) go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings. From: Your Brain On Fiction by Annie Murphy Paul (New York Times)
  8. 8. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories The project that went wrong.
  9. 9. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Which header do you prefer? Header A Header B
  10. 10. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories 69 I had mail.
  11. 11. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories PRODUCT & DESIGN TECH BUSINESS UX
  12. 12. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Telephone Game
  13. 13. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Observation Far too often teams focus on execution before defining a product opportunity or value proposition.
  14. 14. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Symptoms Product Team Users • Scope creep • Extended timeline • Over budget • Scope reduction • Chasing tasks • Burn out • Declining passion • Growing frustration • Confusing ux • Slow adoption • No adoption • No word of mouth
  15. 15. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories It doesn’t matter how good your (engineering) team is if they are not given something worthwhile to build. Marty Cagan Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love
  16. 16. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Root Problem We focus on the how and what of a product, letting why get left behind.
  17. 17. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories what howwhy Product Development Timeline
  18. 18. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories what howwhy solutionstory / problem Product Development Timeline
  19. 19. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories If I had one hour to save the world I would spend 45 minutes defining the problem and only 5 minutes finding the solution. - Einstein
  20. 20. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories why how story Product Development Timeline what solution
  21. 21. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories It all starts with storytelling.
  22. 22. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories What about personas and user stories?
  23. 23. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Personas are polarizing.
  24. 24. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Users stories focus too much on utility and not enough on the user.
  25. 25. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories As a I want to so that
  26. 26. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Stories that make us care aren’t created by chance, they are created by design. Andrew Stanton Director, Screenwriter, Producer at Pixar From: TED Talk : The Clues To A Great Story by Andrew Stanton
  27. 27. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Good stories give you a promise that they’re going to lead you somewhere that’s worth your time. A well told promise carries a story through to the end. Andrew Stanton Director, Screenwriter, Producer at Pixar
  28. 28. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Good products give you a promise that they’re going to lead you somewhere that’s worth your time. A well told promise carries a customer (& team) through to the end.
  29. 29. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories How do you ensure your product is rooted in a great promise (story)?
  30. 30. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories CHARACTERS + CONTEXT + CONFLICT Intro Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution Story Structure
  31. 31. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Eat the audience Story Principles: Characters - Hillman Curtis
  32. 32. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories By developing characters first, the plot of your story will emerge organically ... From: Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” by Scott Myers - Scott Myers
  33. 33. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Case study: Fact Check
  34. 34. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories the square barista
  35. 35. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories If you want to build a product that’s relevant to people, you need to put yourself in their shoes. You need the write the story from their side. - Jack Dorsey
  36. 36. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Story Principles: Context - Frank Gehry Work from the inside out.
  37. 37. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories The functionality of a single page ... the WHAT
  38. 38. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories WHAT + WHY are they on this page or screen? HOW did they get here? WHERE are they going next?
  39. 39. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Context forces us to zoom out from a moment in time or specific functionality so we can understand someone’s greater experience.
  40. 40. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories We can’t assume context because today, we’re tethered to technology.
  41. 41. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Story Principles: Conflict (Cause) - Jason Goldberg What’s your one thing?
  42. 42. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories All well drawn characters have a spine -- an inner motor, a dominant unconscious goal that they’re striving for, an itch that they can’t scratch. - Judith Weston, Acting coach From: TED Talk : The Clues To A Great Story by Andrew Stanton
  43. 43. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Wall-E Find the beauty. Woody Do what was best for his child. Marlin Prevent harm.
  44. 44. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Cinderella moments. Everyone’s private driver. Daily design inspiration ... smile.
  45. 45. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories What’s your one thing ... your one conflict or cause?
  46. 46. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories CHARACTERS + CONTEXT + CONFLICT Intro Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution Story Structure
  47. 47. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Every great product starts with a great story. What’s yours?
  48. 48. Sarah Doody | Knowing your users & their stories Recommended Reading

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