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Introduction to storytelling for experience design

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Storytelling is a powerful tool for communicating the methods and outcomes of Experience Design. This presentation will unpick story structure and explaining how elements such as plot, character and tone work together to formulate a cohesive and engaging tale.

I will describe how these basic elements can map to our daily tasks of communicating decisions and aid in explaining the artifacts that illustrate User Centred Design, such as journey maps and personas, but also how you can better communicate across multiple levels from peers to stakeholders.






Published in: Design
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Introduction to storytelling for experience design

  1. 1. Introduction to Storytelling for Experience Design Liam Keogh • UX Australia 2016
  2. 2. There Will Be Spoilers Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
  3. 3. What is storytelling? Communication Performance A transaction that relies on familiarity Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk - © 2011 GK FILMS, LLC
  4. 4. Story Formula A story is the recounting of events that happen to one or more characters, in overcoming one or more obstacles, in a way that engages us emotionally, towards a resolution.
  5. 5. Introduction to Storytelling | Liam Keogh • March 2016 FEASIBILITYVIABILITY DESIRABILITY
  6. 6. PLOTTONE CHARACTER
  7. 7. CHARACTER © 2014 - Fox Searchlight Pictures
  8. 8. PLOT © 1968 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
  9. 9. TONE © 2016 Netflix
  10. 10. PLOTTONE CHARACTER
  11. 11. PLOT CHARACTER SCALE
  12. 12. PLOT CHARACTER SCALE
  13. 13. Introduction to Storytelling | Liam Keogh • March 2016 WHAT IS STORYTELLING?Scale Form follows function Adjust style to suit context Accessible language Is it a novel or a short story? …No. Photo Credit: Trafalgar Square Publishing
  14. 14. Screenplay
  15. 15. Screenplay Show, don’t tell. Screenplays are blueprints, only realised through collaboration. Scenes - small, finite and manageable. Synopsised easily for any level of stakeholder.
  16. 16. Like screenplays, your storytelling should be very visual. Use imagery in presentations, don’t talk to a slide. It’s not very engaging looking at a slide deck with a ton of text on it. Use visual metaphors get your point across in a way that makes your audience receptive and empathetic. You need to be able to tell a complex story with an image. You need to provoke a response with a single word.
  17. 17. Desirability Photo Credit: John Taggart © 2015 Bloomberg Finance
  18. 18. Screenplay Film makers and screenwriters are the experience designers of the art world.* Their creative decisions have the audience in mind. * Source: Liam Keogh, 2016. Literally, like just a second ago.
  19. 19. Audience The key metric of success. A measure of your success in telling a good story is the audience’s ability to repeat it. Understand them to tailor your story to them. Audience The key metric of success in telling a good story is the audience’s ability to repeat it. Understand them to tailor your story. Photo Credit: Purestock / Alamy
  20. 20. Performance The bridge between blueprint and audience. Interprets and adapts Content in context © 2009 Vertigo Films
  21. 21. The screenplay read: “They fight.”
  22. 22. Big fight scene Energetic, exciting, complex Action sequence to be shot over three days
  23. 23. Introduction to Storytelling | Liam Keogh • March 2016 Scaling your story © 2000 - Sony Pictures Classics
  24. 24. “They fight”
  25. 25. Increase the detail Help the experts in your team to deliver the best possible outcome, without straying off on a tangent. Photo Credit: © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
  26. 26. Experience design story elements • Personas are characters • Journey mapping is a plot arc. • Stakeholder engagement is performance. • We are all each other’s audience. Illustration Credit: George Suyeoka
  27. 27. Pixar’s 22 rules of story Photo Credit: © Disney•Pixar
  28. 28. Pixar’s 22 rules of story Emma Coats, Pixar Storyboard artist Rule #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___. Photo Credit: © Disney•Pixar
  29. 29. Story Summary Character Plot Scale A persona. A product. A service solution. Illustration Credit: George Suyeoka
  30. 30. Story Summary Character Plot Scale Beginning Overcoming obstacles Resolution The new normal Illustration Credit: George Suyeoka
  31. 31. Story Summary Character Plot Scale Tweak the detail Know your audience Adapt your language Illustration Credit: George Suyeoka
  32. 32. Take Aways Scale Anticipation/resolution Show, don’t tell
  33. 33. Take Aways Make your message Memorable, Understandable, & Translatable. Illustration Credit: Ed Emberley

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