The Power of UX Storytelling

David
Laura Angelica updated on 2020-09-25 16:26:16
ux storytelling

If you're a UX designer, you would know hard it is to deliver what a user expects. However, if you pour the right elements, you can achieve that. And one such important element is storytelling. A story is something that can captivate or connect with the user.

Have you ever tried storytelling for user experience? If not, you should. In this article, you'll find the true power of storytelling in UX. If you're ready to discover the true power, read along.

What is Storytelling & How Can It Help in Ux Design

Storytelling is a method of narrating a story to the listers or readers in an engaging manner. Some stories are informative, while others are meant for enjoyment. But the core purpose is to connect with the reader and leave a mark on his mind. And this is why it's important in UX design.

A UX designer's purpose is to connect with their audience and make them understand the product in the best possible manner. And storytelling helps designers achieve the same thing. To know the power of storytelling, read along.


The Power of Emotion

Have you ever read a short story or watched a movie that brought tears to your eyes? Or have you ever listened to a song that related to your life, and you still repeat it sometimes?

Well, it happens because there's a story with an emotional touch. Be it happy, sad, irritating, angry, anything. If it's emotional, it'll stay. And this really helps in UX. User Experience design is all about improving how the user feels.

You need to make sure that the user feels the way you want him to. And storytelling will help you achieve this. Let's learn about some common emotional response to design: -

Visceral Emotion: This is the emotional response we humans are born with. Most humans have no control over this kind of emotional response. Let's take an example. What happens when you smell rotten eggs? You'll probably feel disgusted. What happens when you see a beautiful woman/man?

It pleases your mood or makes your day. Now, this is innate, and you don't learn it over time. It comes to you naturally. In a nutshell, visceral emotion is the first thing you do when you see something beautiful, ugly attractive, or scary.

Behavioral Emotion: Now, this emotional response depends on the overall experience with the product or website. Let's say you were looking for "the best hotels in Maryland." Now, numerous websites will pop out. You click on one website and find all the information you need.

This will please you or make you happy as you got what you need. Let's take another example. Let's suppose you're booking plane tickets. Now, you've completed the procedure but are not sure where to click to pay for the tickets. This will make you feel unpleasant. This is what behavioral emotion is. It is based on how your experience was.

Reflective Emotion: Reflective emotion is not innate and develops with what our past experiences have been. If you see some product today and have a memory bad or good, it will reflect, which is known as reflective emotion. In UX designing, it plays an important role.

Let's say you're trying to sign up for a dating application. But instead of asking for some basic information, it asks for detailed personal information. Also, the UI was not that appealing. What will you think of that platform or website? You'll probably be frustrated.

And whenever someone talks about that platform, you're going to feel unpleasant. And this is what reflective emotion is.


Stories Can Help Us Understand the People We Design for

Most designs or apps turn out to be useless. Do you know what's lacking? Well, it can be quality, innovation, or uniqueness. But another important factor that is missing is understanding. You understand something in the way you think.

But that's may not be similar to what others think. It's because they have a different perspective. And in UX designing, it's all about understanding from the right perspective. It's all about what you make your user understand.

Storytelling in UX can help designers perceive things from the user's point of view. This way, you can understand the people you're building the design for. And this is going to help you build something that relates. It another reason why UX storytelling is essential.


Stories Can Help Us Organize Information

When it comes to interacting or engaging with people, they expect a 2-way response. In simpler terms, people like to be talked to. It means people demand an interactive way of communication. And storytelling can exactly help you do that.

Whenever a storyteller narrates a story, listeners pay attention to it. If there's a unique element like mystery or conflict, they'll start to form the images in their minds. This will further increase the engagement and keep the reader from getting bored.

Research once observed the brain activities of both a storyteller and the listeners. It was found that midway through the story, both listers, and the storyteller formed the same brain patterns. At some point, the listeners anticipated the story in their mind even before the storyteller. This proves that storytelling is an interactive way to organize info.


Designers Can Use Storytelling to Deeply Understand Problems and Generate Solutions

If you're a designer, you would know the motive is to solve the problems. But the problems you work on or solve, are those your problem? Mostly not, right? And If you look at someone else's problem from your perspective, the solution can be different from what the user expects.

As a designer, you need to look at the problem from different perspectives. Only then you'll be able to understand the problem in the best way. And this is what storytelling can help you achieve. Storytelling can connect different minds and help them think in a unified manner. Now you also need a professional UX tool to bring your stories into reality as effectively as possible. Mockitt is a powerful wireframing tool that allows you to build wireframes without having any coding language. It comes with a drag and drop editor, so even if you are a beginner, you could still use it very easily.

With UX storytelling, you can bring your team on the same page. A unique way of dealing with problems is by leaving the story open-ended. Narrate a story to your team and let them decide the fate. Everyone will come up with a different solution. And this is going to help you find effective solutions.


Stories Can Help Us Persuade

You must have heard some stories from your parents, which you know are fiction. But when you listen to them repeatedly, you seem to believe them. Not always, but it is true most of the time. And this is something designers need the most, right? You want the audience to believe in what you have to tell.

The stories or designs you create for the audience, in the end, are for the audience. And if you're unable to convince or persuade them that it's useful or a solution to their problem, it won't work. With UX storytelling, you can create captivating and persuading stories that are enough to convince the viewer.


Great Brands Are Great Storytellers

The above statement is a fact. Ask any popular brand user. Those people will definitely have something special to tell you about the brand. And usually, it's the story they believe in. The motive of every famous brand is to create a space for like-minded people who want their products. And this can only happen if people believe in them.

Great brands come up with unique stories that people can relate to. If people are unable to relate to the products or story, the brand won't succeed. Take Nike, for example. They mostly target athletes and talk about improving the performance.

They deliver the idea of success through their products and stories, and the athletes who are mad for success relate to this, resulting in improved sales.

Now, the designers can use this in their favor. For example, you're designing for a brand. If you use the right emotional elements and connect with the audience, the purpose can be served. And all this can happen with a good story.


Stories Can Help in Conveying the Idea Better

This one here may sound a no-brainer to you. But it's worth mentioning. Okay, answer this question. Of what use is the designing process, if the user is unaware of the product or the surrounding idea? It's probably of no use. A good story helps the reader understand what's being talked about.

When a user connects to the story and relates, he can see the solution. And this way the idea reaches the reader's mind in a more effective manner.


Conclusion

By now, you would have understood the importance of storytelling in UX. Keep in mind that you have to add emotion to your story. Emotion, be it any, helps in binding the viewer and will help you design better. Another thing you should note is the perspective. Always view it from the user's perspective, not yours.

This will help in delivering solutions that your viewers expect. Relate as much as you can with your viewer. This will help you personalize the UX.