Storytelling for User Experience
Crafting Stories for Better Design
Published: April 2010
by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks
For more than two decades I've taught that usability is the key to creating an accessible user experience for people with disabilities. However, Whitney and Kevin have opened my eyes to the incredible power of storytelling; how communicating user needs combined with empathic listening is the bridge that closes the gap between software design and accessibility. Storytelling creates the light bulb moment that says, `Ahhh...Now I understand.' And that is what everyone wants—to be understood."
—Mike Paciello, The Paciello Group
We all tell stories. It's one of the most natural ways to share information, as old as the human race. This book is not about a new technique, but how to use something we already know in a new way. Stories help us gather and communicate user research, put a human face on analytic data, communicate design ideas, encourage collaboration and innovation, and create a sense of shared history and purpose. This book looks across the full spectrum of user experience design to discover when and how to use stories to improve our products. Whether you are a researcher, designer, analyst or manager, you will find ideas and techniques you can put to use in your practice.
- Need to share research and design insights in a compelling and effective way
- Struggle to communicate the meaning of a large body of data in a way that everyone just "gets"
- Want to explore a new, innovative idea, and imagine its future
... this book can help you, by showing you how and when to choose, create and use stories.
“Storytelling for User Experience” Blog
Are you looking for a way to plan the structure of your UX stories better? UX Toyko’s Experience Plotting might be the answer. It’s a way to map out the framework of a story that lets you decide how to incorporate your story elements into a structure. The goal is to quickly visualize the material …
Some of my first musical memories are from Pete Seeger’s children’s concerts in New York many years ago, where I screamed “Abiyoyo” with an auditorium full of kids. If you don’t know his name, just Google it. You’ll find him described as America’s best-loved folksinger and a lot of other superlatives. One of the things …
What’s the difference between a scenario and a story? I’ve always thought those sorts of definitions are trick questions, especially when we are struggling to find words to match our ideas. Perhaps it’s inevitable that we sometimes use the same word in different ways…and different words to mean the same thing. If we look at …
One of the best things about teaching workshops is getting to hear stories from so many people. This one is from Francis Rowland, describing his excitement in finding stories “in the wild.” This morning, a friend in the bioscience research institute next door to where I work made some time for me to come over …
Looking for a handy pocket guide to crafting stories for user experience? We’ve created UX Story Cards to help you get started using stories or sharpen your story skills. The cards are based on the book, especially chapters 11-15. Six groups of cards ask questions and offer suggestions for elements to include in your story: …