Stories are everywhere - in commercials, news, and business meetings because they make us care about the information. Designers also use storytelling skills to create positive user experiences, though it looks a little different when a story is a part of a product.
Human brains are built to find and understand stories. Therefore, it’s no wonder that a story can improve UX. UX is all about connecting an experience to a person’s mental model.
Let’s review several steps that can help you build a story into your user experience.
Identify your genre
Before beginning work on a product, it’s essential to identify the genre. But where an author calls it a genre, we might call it a “niche” or a “use case” in UX. This differs from an industry — it’s not enough to create something “for healthcare” or “for finances.” Your product “genre” is the space in which it exists and can make a difference for the target audience.
Add context to the experience
Context is everything that surrounds us. A UX designer also creates visual context by including headers at the top of screens or breadcrumbs to show someone on a website where they are in the grand scheme of things. Сontextmeans going beyond the moment someone uses your product. Make sure to ask these questions: who is my audience, where do they spend their time, and what were they thinking, feeling, and doing before seeing my product?
Follow the hero’s journey
A good book — and a good product — has a flow that eventually ends. The author or UX team needs to know what that flow is and how to complete the experience gracefully.
Good writing is good editing
The same is true with UX. For an author, finishing the story is only the first step. They then work with an editor to get more feedback and make numerous revisions. In UX, we rely on user research, and instead of “revisions,” we have iterations. Usability testing, A/B testing, user research, and prototype testing are all ways to get feedback from the target audience.
In UX, we have a significant advantage - digital products can be adapted and improved even after launch. Websites get redesigns, and apps get bug fixes.
So to cut a long story short - storytelling is a powerful tool for any UX designer. It will help you to create your product and understand the people who use it.