The Power of Story (updated 2013)
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The Power of Story (updated 2013)



The Power of Story slides, from the O'Reilly webcast on April 19, 2013.

The Power of Story slides, from the O'Reilly webcast on April 19, 2013.
Webcast video archives at O'Reilly



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  • 5. Tell their stories (their hopes, desires, reactions, history)It’s when we add Imagery + Emotion + Context + Motivationthat we go from a scenario or task analysis to a story.OpenIDEO: when the community added personas and explained their concepts in terms of the story, they got more targeted, deeper, richer (there’s an accessibility angle here, too - the personas all had different types of disability)
  • In All the Beautiful Forevers, Kathering oo
  • Try telling the story in first person. Informance: Representing an idea by acting in order to explore, explain and share it.Role playing: Act out the interaction of serviceWhy?It’s harder to talk about someone when you are being themCheck whether reactions feel natural or forced
  • They are part of what we do... and they can make our work better
  • Bring the personas into any design discussion by telling a quick story about how they might act or react.Draw on material from user researchMake connections between behavior in a similar situationWhy?Keep the conversation and work focused on what you know about the audienceRemember different perspectives the personas represent
  • 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.

The Power of Story (updated 2013) The Power of Story (updated 2013) Presentation Transcript

  • The Power of StoryCreating empathy & connectionfor user experienceA Rosenfeld Media – O’Reilly WebinarWebcast: 19, 2013Whitney QuesenberyWQusability
  • Hi! User research, usability, accessibility Former theatre designer Storytelling as a way to understand users,culture, and context in UX design Two-and-an-almost books
  • connect us
  • Stories create relationshipsWho is tellingthe story? Who is the audiencefor the story?What do they share?What do they share?
  • Stories create bridgesThis is the onethat matters
  • The story is created by everyone“Tomorrow and Tomorrow” by Timothy Sullivan Center for Contemporary Opera, 1987Directed by Stephen Jarrett, Scenery by Robert Edmonds, Lighting by WhitneyQuesenbery. With Suzan Hanson
  • The story is created by everyone“Tomorrow and Tomorrow” by Timothy Sullivan Center for Contemporary Opera, 1987Directed by Stephen Jarrett, Scenery by Robert Edmonds, Lighting by WhitneyQuesenbery. With Suzan Hanson
  • Stories change us
  • Stories change how we thinkOur experience of theworld is shaped by ourinterpretations ofit, the stories we tellourselves.... so thekey to personaltransformation is storytransformation.- Timothy Wilson, RedirectScreen from Tripit
  • Stories make data memorableand bring personas to life
  • We can’t empathize until we knowsomeone’s story.Screen: Globalgiving.comFor more::
  • Narrative weaves the user journeyinto the structure of a site.
  • How will you tell the story?Mary and Leonard Trujillo – The Mudhead Gallery
  • Each voice is a perspectiveThird Person Second Person First PersonStory is told aboutsomeone, looking at themfrom the outsideStory is a conversationbetween the storyteller andanother personStory is told from the pointof view of the maincharacterFor example:A UX person telling storiesabout how several differentpeople responded to aprototype.Persona stories, especially ifthere is more than oneFor example:Feedback to a participant orother stakeholder,“Interviewing a persona”Talking directly to users of aproductFor example:A UX person telling thestory of their own reactions.Retelling a story from thepoint of view of the originalexperience.Maintains a distancebetween “us” and“them”Creates a directconnection and invitesthe other person torespond.Invites the audience tolook at the storythrough the eyes of14
  • 3rd person allows you to explain and interpretWhose words and thoughts are these? Are these things that Mary would sayor are they our interpretation of all thedata and stories that went into theMary persona? How can we show when we are usingher own words? Does this story invoke researchauthority- a “realist tale”?Mary works as a nurse in a hecticwomen’s health center for a low-income neighborhood.…Her questions about cancer mostlycome from her patients, or fromwanting to be sure that shecatches any early signs.…She has learned conversationalSpanish, so she can talk to herpatients for whom this is a firstlanguage.…When she looks things up on theWeb, she tends to go back tofamiliar sitesJohn van Mannen – Tales from the Field
  • 2nd person creates conversationHow can you show the conversation? Interviews maintain a separation Conversations can also happenbetween two personasPersona by Caroline Jarrett for the Open University
  • 1st person invites identity You represent the persona andtell the story from their point ofview. Lets you “get into the head” of thestory (an “impressionist tale”)OR First person can tell your story ofyour experience with the person(a “confessional tale”)17
  • Stories are building
  • Tell a story to explain patterns
  • Explainpatternsin the data
  • 21Bring stories into your meetingsTell quick stories in design sessions
  • SpecifyUnderstandDesignEvaluateUser research:Collecting stories aboutcontext, goals, needs,emotions Analysis:Stories explain patternsDesignStories explore currentproblems and new ideasEvaluation:Try out the stories andsee if they workMake stories part of your work
  • Stories give us...A richer understanding of contextInnovation from real needsMore persuasive ideasPeople in the center of the process
  • Create stories that get repeated Based on real data The stories you want told Generate insights and empathy& that lead to action!
  • Storytelling for UserExperience:Crafting storiesfor better designwith Kevin Brookswww.rosenfeldmedia.comGlobal UX:Design and research ina connected worldwith Daniel Szuc@gobaluxA Web for Everyone:Designing accessibleuser experienceswith Sarah Hortonwww.rosenfeldmedia.comSummer 2013Next up: See you at....31 Awesomely Practical Tips – May 29