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YOUR USER IS A HERO 
THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN 
MATT EDWARDS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014 
#HEROSJOURNEY
YOUR USER IS A HERO 
THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN 
• Analysis vs. Syntheis 
• What’s a “Hero’s Journey”? 
• Why s...
THE HERO’S JOURNEY 
A CRITICAL FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ANALYSIS 
Separation of a whole into 
its component parts. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(HERO) 
THE ORDINARY WORLD 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(TRICKSTER) 
(HERALD) 
THE CALL TO ADVENTURE 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
REFUSAL OF THE CALL 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
MEETING THE MENTOR 
(MENTOR) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD 
(THRESHOLD GUARDIANS ERRY-WHERE) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES 
(ALLY) 
(SHAPESHIFTER) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THE APPROACH 
(NOT A MOON) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(THE SHADOW) 
THE ORDEAL 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THE REWARD 
(THE TREASURE) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(THRESHOLD GUARDIANS) 
THE ROAD BACK 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(PORKINS) 
THE RESURRECTION 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(FORCE = ELIXIR) 
RETURN W/ THE ELIXIR 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
SO WHAT? 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
WHO IS YOUR USER TODAY? 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS 
OUR “USERS” ARE PARTS OF THAT ECOSYSTEM 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS 
USERS PLAY DIFFERENT ROLES AT DIFFERENT TIMES 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS 
USERS OFTEN NEED TO COOPERATE IN THOSE SYSTEMS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
CRITICISMS 
DETAILS ARE EVERYTHING 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ETHNOCENTRISM 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
HETERONORMATIVITY 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN z 
MN WUzD 2014
SO WHAT? 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THIS 
HAPPENS 
A LOT. 
EVEN WHEN WE 
RESEARCH.
THE REWARD? 
“HI, I’M AN OBJECT IN THIS STORY.” 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ENGAGEMENT DEMANDS INCLUSIVENESS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
YOUR VALUES IMPACT YOUR DESIGNS 
WHETHER YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IT OR NOT. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
SO, WHAT DO WE DO? 
WE LEVERAGE CRITICAL THEORY. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THIS MAN IS AN AMERICAN TREASURE 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THE “HERO’S JOURNEY” IS A CRITICAL LENS. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ARCHETYPAL 
HISTORICAL 
STRUCTURALISM 
CRITICAL LENSES PROVIDE NEW PERSPECTIVES 
BUT NO LENS IS ALL-ENCOMPASSING. 
PSYCHOA...
CRITICISMS ARE NOT DEALBREAKERS 
IDENTIFY SHORTCOMINGS AND ADJUST 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
HARMON’S “STORY CIRCLE” 
A GENERATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR SYNTHESIS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ANALYSIS 
Separation of a whole into 
its component parts. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
SYNTHESIS 
The combination of parts 
so as to form a whole. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
(#SIXSEASONSANDAMOVIE) 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
#SIXSEASONSANDAMOVIE 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THE STORY CIRCLE 
1 
3 
8 
6 4 
5 
7 
2 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
THE STORY CIRCLE 
1 
3 
8 
6 4 
5 
7 
2 
1. A CHARACTER IS IN A ZONE OF 
COMFORT 
2. BUT THEY WANT SOMETHING 
3. THEY ENTE...
A CHARACTER IS IN A ZONE OF COMFORT 
BUT THEY WANT SOMETHING 
THEY ENTER AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION 
ADAPT TO IT 
GET WHAT TH...
WHEN YOU 
HAVE A NEED 
YOU GO SOMEWHERE 
SEARCH FOR IT 
FIND IT 
TAKE IT 
THEN RETURN 
HAVING CHANGED 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN...
WHEN YOU 
HAVE A NEED 
YOU GO SOMEWHERE 
SEARCH FOR IT 
FIND IT 
TAKE IT 
THEN RETURN 
HAVING CHANGED 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN...
YOU 
NEED, 
GO 
SEARCH, 
FIND, 
TAKE, 
RETURN 
CHANGED. 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
YOU NEED, 
RETURN 
CHANGED 
FIND, TAKE, GO SEARCH, 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
DESIGNING WITH NARRATIVE 
DATA ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
Q: WHEN IS THIS USEFUL? 
A: YES 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
WORKSHOPS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
RESEARCH PLANNING 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
DATA SYNTHESIS 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
EXPERIENCE STRATEGY 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
FEATURE DEVELOPMENT 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
COMMUNITY-CENTERED DESIGN 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
CONSIDER DUALITIES 
REFLECTING 
ACTING 
CONCRETE ABSTRACT 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
CONSIDER DUALITIES 
REFLECTING REFLECTING 
ABSTRACT 
CONCRETE 
ACTING ACTING 
CONCRETE ABSTRACT 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2...
YOUR USER IS A HERO 
THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN 
1. JOSEPH CAMPBELL’S “MONOMYTH” 
• STRUCTURE 
• CRITICISMS 
2....
I HAVE A 
QUESTION 
I DECIDE 
TO ASK 
EVERYONE 
BENEFITS 
I ASK THE 
QUESTION 
@ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 
INFORMATION 
1. JOSEPH CAMPBELL - “THE HERO 
WITH A THOUSAND FACES” - LINK 
2. CHRISTOPHER VOGLER - ...
Your User is a Hero: Applying Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth” to User Experience Design
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Your User is a Hero: Applying Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth” to User Experience Design

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Chances are, you’re already using User Journeys to plan how people will interact with products you design. Writers have been doing this for centuries – creating characters, and working out how those characters interact with their newly designed world. We’ll discuss a common narrative framework, Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth”, and how we can use it to create robust user journeys that drive innovative design and address real human needs.

User Journeys are a power tool that are often under-utilized. This is partly because their strengths are misunderstood or overlooked. This session will provide a flexible structure to base user journeys on, which can help designers identify bottlenecks, important players, and deeper underlying themes or challenges of design problems. These insights can be used to drive design direction, client workshops, user research plans, and experience strategy. Additionally, this can be thought of as an introduction into applying theories and frameworks from other disciplines into the way we conceptualize our users.

Published in: Design, Education
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Your User is a Hero: Applying Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth” to User Experience Design

  1. YOUR USER IS A HERO THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN MATT EDWARDS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014 #HEROSJOURNEY
  2. YOUR USER IS A HERO THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN • Analysis vs. Syntheis • What’s a “Hero’s Journey”? • Why should I care? • Using Critical Theory • What’s a “Story Circle”? • Case Studies • Q+A @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  3. THE HERO’S JOURNEY A CRITICAL FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  4. ANALYSIS Separation of a whole into its component parts. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  5. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  6. (HERO) THE ORDINARY WORLD @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  7. (TRICKSTER) (HERALD) THE CALL TO ADVENTURE @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  8. REFUSAL OF THE CALL @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  9. MEETING THE MENTOR (MENTOR) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  10. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD (THRESHOLD GUARDIANS ERRY-WHERE) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  11. TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES (ALLY) (SHAPESHIFTER) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  12. THE APPROACH (NOT A MOON) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  13. (THE SHADOW) THE ORDEAL @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  14. THE REWARD (THE TREASURE) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  15. (THRESHOLD GUARDIANS) THE ROAD BACK @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  16. (PORKINS) THE RESURRECTION @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  17. (FORCE = ELIXIR) RETURN W/ THE ELIXIR @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  18. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  19. SO WHAT? @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  20. WHO IS YOUR USER TODAY? @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  21. WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS OUR “USERS” ARE PARTS OF THAT ECOSYSTEM @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  22. WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS USERS PLAY DIFFERENT ROLES AT DIFFERENT TIMES @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  23. WE DESIGN ECOSYSTEMS USERS OFTEN NEED TO COOPERATE IN THOSE SYSTEMS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  24. CRITICISMS DETAILS ARE EVERYTHING @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  25. ETHNOCENTRISM @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  26. HETERONORMATIVITY @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN z MN WUzD 2014
  27. SO WHAT? @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  28. THIS HAPPENS A LOT. EVEN WHEN WE RESEARCH.
  29. THE REWARD? “HI, I’M AN OBJECT IN THIS STORY.” @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  30. ENGAGEMENT DEMANDS INCLUSIVENESS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  31. YOUR VALUES IMPACT YOUR DESIGNS WHETHER YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IT OR NOT. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  32. SO, WHAT DO WE DO? WE LEVERAGE CRITICAL THEORY. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  33. THIS MAN IS AN AMERICAN TREASURE @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  34. THE “HERO’S JOURNEY” IS A CRITICAL LENS. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  35. ARCHETYPAL HISTORICAL STRUCTURALISM CRITICAL LENSES PROVIDE NEW PERSPECTIVES BUT NO LENS IS ALL-ENCOMPASSING. PSYCHOANALYTIC READER-RESPONSE FEMINIST MARXIST NEW CRITICISM DECONSTRUCTION @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  36. CRITICISMS ARE NOT DEALBREAKERS IDENTIFY SHORTCOMINGS AND ADJUST @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  37. HARMON’S “STORY CIRCLE” A GENERATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR SYNTHESIS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  38. ANALYSIS Separation of a whole into its component parts. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  39. SYNTHESIS The combination of parts so as to form a whole. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  40. (#SIXSEASONSANDAMOVIE) @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  41. #SIXSEASONSANDAMOVIE @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  42. THE STORY CIRCLE 1 3 8 6 4 5 7 2 @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  43. THE STORY CIRCLE 1 3 8 6 4 5 7 2 1. A CHARACTER IS IN A ZONE OF COMFORT 2. BUT THEY WANT SOMETHING 3. THEY ENTER AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION 4. ADAPT TO IT 5. GET WHAT THEY WANTED 6. PAY A HEAVY PRICE FOR IT 7. THEN RETURN TO THEIR FAMILIAR SITUATION 8. HAVING CHANGED @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  44. A CHARACTER IS IN A ZONE OF COMFORT BUT THEY WANT SOMETHING THEY ENTER AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION ADAPT TO IT GET WHAT THEY WANTED PAY A HEAVY PRICE FOR IT THEN RETURN TO THEIR FAMILIAR SITUATION HAVING CHANGED @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  45. WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED YOU GO SOMEWHERE SEARCH FOR IT FIND IT TAKE IT THEN RETURN HAVING CHANGED @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  46. WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED YOU GO SOMEWHERE SEARCH FOR IT FIND IT TAKE IT THEN RETURN HAVING CHANGED @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  47. YOU NEED, GO SEARCH, FIND, TAKE, RETURN CHANGED. @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  48. YOU NEED, RETURN CHANGED FIND, TAKE, GO SEARCH, @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  49. DESIGNING WITH NARRATIVE DATA ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  50. Q: WHEN IS THIS USEFUL? A: YES @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  51. WORKSHOPS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  52. RESEARCH PLANNING @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  53. DATA SYNTHESIS @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  54. EXPERIENCE STRATEGY @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  55. FEATURE DEVELOPMENT @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  56. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  57. COMMUNITY-CENTERED DESIGN @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  58. CONSIDER DUALITIES REFLECTING ACTING CONCRETE ABSTRACT @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  59. CONSIDER DUALITIES REFLECTING REFLECTING ABSTRACT CONCRETE ACTING ACTING CONCRETE ABSTRACT @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  60. YOUR USER IS A HERO THE MONOMYTH & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN 1. JOSEPH CAMPBELL’S “MONOMYTH” • STRUCTURE • CRITICISMS 2. DAN HARMON’S “STORY CIRCLE” • STRUCTURE • THEMATIC DUALITIES 3. DESIGNING WITH NARRATIVE • USE CASES @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  61. I HAVE A QUESTION I DECIDE TO ASK EVERYONE BENEFITS I ASK THE QUESTION @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014
  62. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION 1. JOSEPH CAMPBELL - “THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES” - LINK 2. CHRISTOPHER VOGLER - “THE WRITER’S JOURNEY” - LINK 3. DAN HARMON, CHANNEL 101 - “STORY STRUCTURE” TUTORIALS - LINK CONTACT EMAIL: MEDWARDS@NERDERY.COM TWITTER: @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN @ASTRONAUTPNGUIN MN WUD 2014

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