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Storytelling for User Experience

Crafting Stories for Better Design 

Published: April 2010 Digital: ISBN 1-933820-03-9

by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks

Storytelling for User Experience

Whitney and Kevin clearly articulate the power and effectiveness of storytelling for understanding users and communicating their real experiences to all project stakeholders. Their guidelines for integrating storytelling into user research and design have already given me new ways to help my clients better know their users and deliver great products and services. This is a reference I will be reaching for regularly."

—Karen Bachmann, Partner, Seascape Consulting

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.

If you...

  • 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

Kevin Brooks

Kevin Brooks is the co-author of Storytelling for User Experience, a friend, and most of all,¬†an amazing storyteller. In January, Kevin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. If Kevin’s work has touched you – through his storytelling, workshops, or the book – let him know you are thinking about him. Laura Packer, his wife and another …

Storytelling for UX: Designing with experience plotting

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 …

We create stories (and songs) together

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 …

Empathy and connection

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 …

Story-tastic. An example from scientific research.

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 …