Storytelling for UX Workshop

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Post on 17-Aug-2014




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Slides from the half-day workshop on using stories in user experience from UXLX


  • Storytellingfor User ExperienceA half-day workshopWhitney QuesenberyWQusability@whitneyq
  • Hi! User researcher Theatre designer Storytelling as a way to understand user, culture, and context in UX design Researcher in new UI technologies Performance storyteller Storytelling as a pivotal part of the creation, performance, and design process. How about you?
  • StoriesconnectusStoriesmakeUXpersonal.Theyremindusthateverythingwemakeismadeforarealperson. @ianeverdell
  • We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is4
  • We all tell storiesYou already know what astory is...but you may not know howto use stories effectively inyour work. 4
  • Claude Shannon was wrong*Stories are not a broadcast transmission. *** At least about stories.** Both of these pictures are wrong5
  • Stories create relationships Story Storyteller Audience6
  • A story is shared by everyone who hears it First the storyteller shapes the story7
  • A story is shared by everyone who hears it First the storyteller shapes the story As they listen, the audience members form an image of the story in their own minds.7
  • The audience is part of the story The storyteller and the audience affect each other and shape the story they create.8
  • The audience is part of the story The storyteller and the audience affect each other and shape the story they create.The most importantrelationship is betweenthe audience and thestory. 8
  • Stories close a gap User Story as collected When you retell a story, you make a connection between your colleagues and the person you heard the Story asUX person re-told story from. Our colleagues (audience) 9
  • Stories communicate efficientlyTanner was deep into a Skatepunkz gameallthe way up to level 12when he got a buddymessage from his friend, Steve, with a questionabout his homework.He looked up with a start. Almost bedtime andhis homework was still not done. Mom or Dadwould be in any minute. What can we learn about Tanner from this short story?10
  • StorytellinginUXAgoodstorywillevokeemo>on.Wehumansrememberemo>onsbest. @mike_me_up
  • Storytelling is already part of UX Collecting stories helps us understand people and Understand goals, context.... Finding themes and patterns is the first step in identifying requirements Evaluate Success? SpecifyUsability evaluation isa way of trying thestory out to see if itworks for other Designpeople, too. Design tells a new story that changes something about the world 12
  • Storytelling is already part of UXWe just dont call them stories User research Ethnography Contextual inquiry Understand Personas Site visits Affinity analysis Card sorting Stories we share through the user Evaluate Specify experienceUsability TestingWalk-throughsAnalytics Scenarios Design Storyboards Wireframes Prototypes 13
  • Stories have many purposes in UX Meeting the users Illustrating user needs Points of pain Brainstorming Success stories Design exploration Evaluation task14
  • StoriesstartwithlisteningStorytellingisatwowaymirror.Youseeyourselfreectedintheexperienceofothers. @nathangibbs
  • FIGURE 2-6Each person hears a story in their own way If it was easy to get info about the next bus, she would not Whats her rush? have to worry. London trains run well into the evening, even if there are only 2 an hour After the show, Jane couldnt decide whether to take a taxi or a bus across townShe really didnt want to miss the 10:45pm train I bet she doesnt want to miss it. On my line, theres only one train after 9pm. Miss that, and youre sleeping in the station.16
  • Listening Exercise Tell the other person about a time when everything seemed to go right... or wrong.17
  • Listening Exercise Two roles: listener and speaker Decide who will go rst. Speakers job - tell the other person about something (well tell you what) Listeners job - just listen. Dont have to talk, interrupt or ll silences Tell the other person about a time when everything seemed to go right... or wrong.17
  • Be an active listener Show that you are aware of the other person Be quiet. Give the person time to think as well as to talk. Use verbal and non-verbal gestures to take your turn in the conversation without redirecting it. Show warmth and caring about what you are hearing. Reect back what you hear, when appropriate, by responding to what you heard or restating 18
  • User Story asAsk the questions that collected encourage stories Have you ever [done something]? How often do you [do that thing]? What makes you decide to [do that thing]? Where do you [do that thing]? + Story asUX person When was the re-told last time you [did that thing]? Our colleagues (audience) + Tell me about that. (and really listen) 19
  • Listen for juicy fragmentsAny time you listen to someone you can collect storiesLook for stories that. You hear from more than one source. Have a lot of action detail. Have details that illuminate user data Surprise or contradict common beliefs And are clear, simple, and compelling. 20
  • Unexpected stories... We were ready to be disappointed. Use data to set Nurses were more interested in people up the story Merge demographic than technology. and other statistics with a human They used the Web, of course, but didnt situation see social media as work. Only a few of them had phones that did more than make phone calls. Some didnt even have Web access except at home. So we were taken by surprise when one nurse after another got enthusiastic about some concept sketches for mobile health sites.21
  • Unexpected stories Gina gave us the first tidbit. She was a Character nurse manager for the county health The persona creates the perspective and system. Im on the move all day and I relationship have a huge case load. Patients are always throwing new questions at me. Yesterday, I really struggled to sort out a Imagery Suggests the problem one patient was having with emotional side effects. I speak a little Spanish, but connections just couldnt remember the correct medical term to explain a new adjuvant Context the doctor wanted to try. It was so Set up the problem frustrating. She pointed at the sketch. I dont have a phone that will do all that - yet, but if its really that simple22
  • StoriesintroduceustopeopleStorytellingishowwemakesenseoftheworld:reimaginingoureverydaylivesasanexperiencetobesharedwithothers. @otrops
  • Stories turn a proleinto a personaAged 30-4545% married with children65% college educatedUse the web 3-5 times a weekElizabeth, 32 years oldMarried to Joe, has a 5-year old son,JustinAttended State College, and managesher class alumni siteUses Google as her home page, andreads CNN onlineUsed the web to find the name of alocal official 24
  • Create a story that introduces a user orexplains a user need Start from an experience in your work. Think about a specic person or event. Maybe it changed your own thinking Maybe a story about ... How someone used your product A need they didnt even know they had A delightful experience A painful experience Use the Story Basics cards to gather your ideas about the story Craft story you can tell in ~ 2 minutes that introduces that person25
  • Sharing your story Share your story with someone else Find a partner. Each of you will tell your story to the other person And respond with an appreciation Ill call time If you nish before the timer, just wait. If you dont get done in time, wrap up as quickly as you can.26
  • First story feedback How did that go Story tellers: Were you able to tell the story you wanted to tell? Story listeners: What did you learn from the story? Did the story you heard suggest another story? Can you retell the story you heard? Is it easier to remember a complex situation when its part of a story? 27
  • What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters Events28
  • What makes a good story?Stories have Time and place Characters EventsBut they also have Emotions Imagery Interaction28
  • Add context and imagery Find a new partner Pick 2-3 cards from these groups to see what ideas they spark for ways to add them to your story. Share your stories (just like last time)29
  • Feedback How did that go? How does it feel to have a UX story include imagery and emotion? How do you include points of emotional connection when you tell a story in a business setting? What do you remember most from the stories you heard? 30
  • StoriescanbetoldmanywaysStorytellingisatwowaymirror.Youseeyourselfreectedintheexperienceofothers. @nathangibbs
  • Story structures and perspectives Some stories are a simple narrative Prescriptive structure Framing structures create contrast Me - Them - Me Here - There - Here Now - Then - Now Stories can explain a situation or set a context Layered Contextual interlude Journeys show obstacles overcome A heros journey 32
  • The heros journey33
  • Change perspective or structure Use the Story Structure cards Which structure matches the story best? With a partner, try telling the same story twice, from two different perspectives.34
  • Feedback How does the story change when the perspective changes? Does it have a different meaning? Did you want to tell it in a new way? Who is the hero of the story?35
  • Fromstoriestoinnova>onStorieshelpusempathizeandexperienceanotherpersonscondi>on.Storiesappealtoouremo>onsanddriveustoac>on. @balchenn
  • Stories can spark innovationThey can start from... Stories you hear during from (or about) users Explore new perspectives on a problem or goal Personas Show their behavior in new situations Data Explore the story behind the data Juicy fragments Explain the unexpected 37
  • Juicy fragments can grow into a story le When Im ts of peop waiting eeing lo form. It for a bus, I wi I love s tro plat a way to kn sh I had e on the m eans a train w ill ow when m it will arriv e. usually n. o a rrive so When the bu nning late, I can drive marked, I a s stop isnt wellIf Im ru ain. lways worr y whether Iif Im go ing to miss the tr in the right place. m 38
  • Stories explore situations and context There is nothing more frustrating than Context Set up the problem waiting for the bus. On a suburban road. In the snow. Character The persona creates Sandra didnt like snow much anyway, the perspective and but she liked standing at her bus stop relationship even less, with snow oozing into her boots and cars splashing ice at her. Imagery Suggests the Had she missed it? Was it right around emotional the corner? Was it even running with all connections this snow? Was anything going to get her to work on time today?39
  • Stories explore situations and context (2) Much as Ian loved staying out with his Context Different setting friends until the pubs closed, he hated getting back home late at night. Character Different person and Was the train still running, or did he situation have to trudge over to the stop for the night bus -- 5 blocks that seemed much longer after a few beers. Same basic problem And there was the tedium of watching the bus wind through the streets.40
  • Stories start brainstormingSigns on the platformwith when the train willarrive. Text message with the time the next bus will arrive. App that taps into transit information for bus or train locations. Website with Bus checks off its information arrival on the schedule. 41
  • A new ending to Sandras storyAfter shed waited for a few minutes, Sets up a possibleSandra brushed enough snow off the sign solutionto be able to read the stop number.She had the RideFind number in herphones contact list, so all she had to dowas enter the number of the bus stop into atext message.A couple of seconds later, the reply cameback. The bus was 10 minutes away,running late. Shed get to work thismorning. Sign for a service in Washington DC 42
  • Craft stories for brainstorming Start from a juicy fragment, analysis data, or a usability problem Construct a story that sets up the context... but does not provide a solution. Be sure you ground the story with a character (or persona), a context (place, time, situation), a motivation, and a problem. 43
  • Feedback What happens if you write the story for a different persona? Or change a starting assumption technology enablers rules or other constraints 44
  • Incorpora>ngstoriesintoUXdeliverables Everyinterac>onisastory,withtheuseras the"star."Thisappealstoourhumanneed tobeatthecenterofeveryexperience. @dgelman
  • There are many ways to tell a story Elevator stories Stories you tell around a table Written stories Presenting a report Comic or storyboard Visual collage In a formal presentation46
  • Illustrate problems as a story47
  • Show the interaction as a storyboard or comic48
  • Weave stories into your reports49
  • StoriesasusabilitytesttasksStoriesmakethingsmeaningful,movingandmemorable. @iaexperience
  • Stories can be test scenarios Test scenarios let the participant nish the story They create a realistic context because they are based on real stories. They give you a range of stories and perspectives to draw on. 51
  • Stories for evaluation create a starting point You can create a story that provides the motivation, but allows variation in how the scenario is completed Another person just got promoted Motivation ahead of you. You know you are good at Create a story for your job but notice that everyone else motivation, or build one has a degree in business. You are based on what you know about them thinking about whether this is a good option for you. Goals What questions do you need to answer Let them identify their goals in this scenario first? (OK). Lets see if the local college has a And then, get them started program that will work for you. in meeting their goals 52
  • Create a usability test scenario Start from one of your stories, and turn it into a test scenario What is the basic scenario you want the participant to complete? How much can the scenario vary based on their specic interests? Are there different motivations or starting points? Are there many things they can nd, use or buy that they can choose from? How much variation is there in how the scenario can be completed?53
  • StoriescanmakeyourUXworkricherandmorepersuasiveStoriestakeouraudienceonajourneyandenableleapsoffaith. @MarkErhardt
  • Stories use pull, not push, to persuadeThey let your audience thinkabout something (new)In a realistic situationWith a compelling characterand perspectiveAnd imagine how it will solve aproblem 55
  • A story is successful when it gets repeatedThink carefully about whatstories you want retold.Look for stories that are Based on real data The stories you want told Generate insights and empathy 56
  • Stories add depth to UX workIf you craft and use stories in a conscious way, you will Add a richer understanding of users to your design process Find new design ideas more easily Be more persuasive about innovative ideas Enhance the usability work you are already doing Bring people into the center of the process 57
  • Thank you Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting stories for better design Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks Blog and book site Illustrations by Calvin C. Chan available at