Storytelling in UX

Quote 1

"A group of blind men are introduced to an elephant. The man who touched the elephant's side said, "The elephant is like a wall." The man who touched the elephant's tusk said, "No, the elephant is like a spear." The man who touched the elephant's trunk said, "No, the elephant is like a large snake." The man who touched the elephant's leg said, "No, that's ridiculous. The elephant is like a tree." And the man who touched the elephant's tail said, "No, you're all mistaken, the elephant is like a rope."

This allegory provides valuable insight into how we can approach storytelling in design. If we only discuss a story from one perspective, the audience will not understand the whole situation. They end up addressing problems with little to no knowledge. The story of the blind men and the elephant teaches that it is essential to look at a story from multiple perspectives. This better helps everyone see the whole picture, which enables us to find the problem and discover a soliton.  This soliton takes into consideration the needs and feelings of everyone involved. Without a diversity of thought, we are unable to see the whole truth. My main takeaway from this quote is that we all have valid knowledge based on our own experience, but without hearing what the others have to say, we will always have an incomplete view.



Quote 2

"Make the story active. Stories are active, so make the writing active, too. Make sure that the characters do, think, say, or feel things actively. Don't make them passive observers of what happens. Stories are an opportunity to let real experiences come through."

This is one of the most challenging rules for me to follow. I subscribe to Grammarly Premium because it assists me with my writing at work and school. What I have learned over the years is that I write in a passive tense. My brain registers like I told the story instead of telling it. I often try to revise my writings and turn the narrative into an active tense, but I always struggle to maintain clarity and understanding. As I read this passage, I caught myself wishing for more.


Quote 3

"These ingredients—perspective, character, context, imagery, and language—support the events and make the story come alive in the minds of the audience, thereby creating the experience of the story."


When the story is at the center of the design, it forces us to ride along with a user's experience. Through every single step, designers have the opportunity to create systems for decision making. All these details add up and contribute to the goals of everyone contributing. Stories make expectations easier when the user perspective is taken into account. Often, we as designers are all too concerned with how our products look. We are not focusing on how the product work and failing to stimulate the customer to interact with it. The best experiences are produced when the story is at the center of the design—being with creating stories that consumers can interact with.