storytelling: finding ux moments that count

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Designed experiences make the difference between belonging and rejecting; between connecting and missing; between believing and doubting. The threshold can be slight — everyone knows when you’re fake-smiling. As UX designers, we make it our mission to invite people to belong, connect, and believe. Storytelling gets us there. From understanding stakeholders and contexts to crafting experiences that resonate and delight, storytelling gets us to the moments that count. In this talk, we will discuss how you can use storytelling to pinpoint compelling UX opportunities — opportunities that invite a flicker of hope in the hearts of many and inspire action. (presented at the Homegrown lecture series hosted by AIGA Raleigh Chapter)


  • 1. Storytellingfinding UX moments that countAmber Howard, Ph.D.@amberkhowardFebruary 12, 2013

2. Customers dont knowwhat they want untilweve shown them. Steve Jobs 3. Qwikster 4. Muhammad Yunas, Grameen Bank 5. welcometo the party 6. create to resonate 7. CREATE TO RESONATEthe difference betweenbelonging, connecting, & believingrejecting missingdoubting 8. increase the overlap MINDSETS & DESIGNEDEXPECTATIONS CONDITIONS 9. CREATE TO RESONATEstorytelling gets us there we are all storytellers. story is a fundamental part of our existence. 10. make theexperiencecount 11. Do you enjoybeing a designer? 12. Why do you lovebeing a designer? 13. Tell a story abouta time when you feltfullled as a designer. 14. storytellingis a state ofmind 15. invite storytelling 16. INVITE STORYTELLINGexperience is non-conscious consciousness is a bubblingup of non-consciousawareness. 17. INVITE STORYTELLINGthe non-conscious knowsIowa gambling task 18. stories arewindows tothe non-listen for the elephant inthe trainers story is not enough.conscious 19. what to ask 20. TEXTIf I had asked peoplewhat they want,they would haveTextTextsaid faster horses. Henry Ford 21. WHAT TO ASKwhat you ask depends onhow you want the design to resonate 22. atmospheres of resonance 23. ASSETSWhat do people have?What can we make? 24. ASSETS ACTIONS What do people do? How can we streamline the process? 25. ASSETS ACTIONS EXPERIENCES How do people relate? How can we make it fulfilling? 26. ASSETS ACTIONS EXPERIENCESVISIONWhat do people value? How can we align perceptions? 27. ASSETS ACTIONS EXPERIENCES VISIONCULTUREWhat do people believe? How can we expand possibility? 28. observableinferentialASSETS ACTIONS EXPERIENCES VISION CULTURE 29. tacticalstrategic ASSETS ACTIONS EXPERIENCES VISION CULTURE 30. If I had asked peoplewhat they want,they would havesaid faster horses. 31. If I had asked peopleto tell a story,they would havesurprised & inspired me. 32. how do youwant toresonate 33. design the experience 34. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEdesign the experienceask & listen to the non-conscious 35. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEfacilitating a storytelling session 36. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEknow your roleknow the encouraging &supportive persona youregoing to play. 37. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEcalm the elephant provide no-stakesopportunities to tell casualstories. 38. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEgive a basic structure Great stories are designed. Give people the structure to tell great stories. 39. structure of a story 40. SETTINGWhat was the situation?Where do significant moments happen? 41. SETTING CHARACTERSWho was involved?What roles and relationships matter? 42. SETTING CHARACTERS JOURNEYWhat happened?How did emotions & perspectives transform? 43. SETTING CHARACTERS JOURNEY RESOLUTION How did it end? How was tension resolved?Who does the person want to be? 44. SETTING CHARACTERS JOURNEYRESOLUTIONMORAL Why did it matter?What is valued?What are the persons hopes? 45. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCESETTING CHARACTERSJOURNEY RESOLUTION MORAL 46. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEprovide a safety netgive people a space tocollect their thoughtsbefore sharing. 47. DESIGN THE EXPERIENCEmake it socialpeople are comfortablesharing stories with peers it builds camaraderie.find ways to record theconversation. 48. invite theelephant toshare 49. analyzing stories 50. ANALYZING STORIESall these do we make sense of them? 51. ANALYZING STORIESthemes from many piecesusing grounded theory lite 52. ANALYZING STORIEStranscribe the stories get all the stories into a comparable format. 53. ANALYZING STORIESdevelop a coding system make dots so youcan connect them.the dots should beproject-specific. 54. story elementsSETTINGCHARACTERSJOURNEY RESOLUTIONMORALlocation relationships before/during/after transformation significancetime roles triggerhopes identitytoolstension aspirationsemotiondrama 55. ANALYZING STORIEScategorize by affinity identify patterns & themes. Find significant moments. 56. nd outthroughsystematicinquiry 57. synthesizing stories 58. SYNTHESIZING STORIEStell a story that isrelevant and meaningfulSETTING CHARACTERSJOURNEY RESOLUTION MORAL 59. SYNTHESIZING STORIESBELONGING: common mindsets situations & rolesSETTING CHARACTERSJOURNEYRESOLUTION MORAL 60. in a new environment Teachers outside their comfort zonePrincipals who were overwhelmed, but persevered, with too much to do in too little time Staff when faced with a crisis 61. SYNTHESIZING STORIESCONNECTING: leverage points journey & progressionSETTING CHARACTERSJOURNEYRESOLUTIONMORAL 62. FacilitatereflectionProvideset specific praise benchmarksHow am I doing?Confidence and a sense of success is IM CONFIDENT pretty awesome for me. It means a lot I WOULD ENGAGE to be comfortable in your own skin.WITH THE ONLINE COMMUNITY TO teacher VALUE ADDED VALUE I AMI NEEDI REFLECT BY IM AFFIRMED Overwhelmed Reassurance celebrating success & unsureasking for feedbackaboutusing LinkedInGoogle my expectations Facebook EdutopiaperformanceSkype 63. SYNTHESIZING STORIESBELIEVING: purpose values & perceptionsSETTING CHARACTERS JOURNEY RESOLUTIONMORAL 64. Where we want to go as aCityGeneral advice from the group Lay the foundation for 21st century growth.Built upon these pillarspublictransportationdensitycommunicationeffective publicotherconvention transit system walkable features/groups economic centerriverfront attractionsdevelopment entrepreneurschamber waynding populationmonorail NCSU/Universities/ transportation Colleges city to RDU DRAReferences for success ocean/mountain>Amsterdam infrastructure for lots > Fortune 500 companies in NYC of people>Keep Austin weird > NYC culture/grid/mindset/designers>Austin music>Charlotte preserves history > Portland downtown transportation>Nashville music>Districts in Paris> Bike ecosystem of Copenhagen/Paris/ >Music scene in northwest>Salt Lake City water feature, Amsterdam/San Francisco 65. SYNTHESIZING STORIESMOMENTUM: strategy engagement architecture action plan 66. 41%HUB AND SPOKEA community hub is like a bicycle wheel, with spokesradiating out from the center.Community hubs are the central gathering place forfeatured content and discussion. The centralizedposition of the hub ensures that the nodes are alignedwith the organizations brand.The spokes, radiating from the hub, route members toneed-specific resources.Since one tool does not fit all, the nodes provide a suiteof curated tools and resources that cater to specificneeds, expectations, and values of the community.MODELS FOR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT10.8% 28.8% 18% 1.4%ORGANIC TREEDANDELION HONEYCOMBNo one department manages orOne department manages all social Similar to Hub and Spoke butEveryone in the organization usescoordinates; efforts bubble up from activities. applicable to organizations withsocial media safely and consistentlythe edges of the company. several autonomous sub-groups.across all organizations.Data based on 140 surveyed social companies, courtesy of Altimeter Group, 2010. 67. The conversations and ideasthat came from the Pathways toOpportunity Tour demonstratedthat North Carolina wants RTPto be a convener, a connector, acatalyst.Heres how RTP plans to fulfillthose roles: CONVENER CONNECTOR CATALYST THIS YEAR, RTP WILL INVITE RTP WILL DEVELOP AN ONLINERTP WILL BUILD AN REPRESENTATIVES FROM COMMUNITY TO ESTABLISHINNOVATIVE COMMUNITY FOR ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA TO AN ONGOING CONVERSATION SHARING NEW IDEAS. COME TOGETHER IN THE PARK. ABOUT THE FUTURE OF NORTHThe center will fulfill the expectationsCAROLINA. Events hosted in RTP will give we heard on the Pathways to passionate people an opportunity toDifferent forms of online media willOpportunity tour: it will connect North collaborate and learn from one another allow RTP to share timely information Carolina and brand our state as a global to drive economic development in their about the Park and the statesleader in innovation and collaboration. own communities. development. Open communicationsplatforms will give North Carolina aplace to share stories and ideas. 68. momentsthat count 69. invite peopleto the party 70. storytellinggets us there 71. be systematicabout it 72. belong,connect, &believe 73. momentsthat resonate 74. thank you.Amber Howard, Ph.D.@amberkhoward