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Storytelling on Product Design

22
Feb
2023
Storytelling on Product Design

Storytelling plays a massive part in product design. Designers rely on it to reach users from an emotional and more personal point of view. The process comes with significant levels of fantasy and imagination. Further, the idea is to describe both users' needs and solutions. Storytelling explains the reason for a product's existence and its offered solutions. This article will guide us on how storytelling influences product design. Also, we'll discuss its relevance for business environments. Are you ready? Let your imagination fly!

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling has been an art form since ancient times. Further, it's an authentic way of human expression from its start. And, as both designers and devs may know, history is essential for any art. The art of telling stories depicts ideas, experiences, and life lessons. Here, the goal is knowing how to evoke emotional power and learning. Hence, its narrative has both elements and applications

Applications of Storytelling

Here, storytelling identifies and enhances learning dialogues, influencing values and perspectives. It provides quantitative enrichment and qualitative evidence. Through narration, storytelling makes it easy to understand connections and purposes. Also, it improves the effectiveness of strategic decisions. Potential applications include spoken stories and recreational activities. Yet, it also includes team-building exercises, evaluations, and analysis.

Elements of Storytelling

A good story can be unusual, interesting, or intriguing. It can also be provocative, controversial, or inspiring. There are various fields to attend to when creating a good story, like including human elements as part of the experience, present the point of view of someone involved in a story or comprise a variety of narrative patterns for different purposes. You can also strike a balance of words between people and organizations or recount successes, describe failures, and provide solutions. Storytelling uses stories as tools to allow the studying and sharing of personal knowledge. In the business landscape, this can be beneficial for strategy, formal speeches, and reporting purposes.

What is Storytelling in Product Design?

A good story is vital to intrigue potential audiences. In design processes, narrative resources are everywhere. Thanks to storytelling, giving products the needed focus and values is possible. After the required research to understand users' needs, creating a story is fundamental. This story should include all relevant information while also including your potential users. In sum, it should integrate both needs and solutions. With storytelling, it's easier for product designers to understand final users! Further, at the end of the process, storytelling will add value to the final product.

Good Storytelling for Product Design

The concept of storytelling goes all the way back to Aristotle. In fact, the great philosopher wrote about the elements a good story must have. Let's take a look at some of them!

Plot. Knowing what you are trying to achieve with a narrative is essential. At this point, exceeding users' or readers' expectations can also be fundamental.
Character. Describe who the users are beyond their demographic level. Here, it's necessary to research valuable information and achieve a proper definition. Users will better understand the relationship between their needs and the product's solutions. 
Theme. The idea is to keep a reliable position while understanding the barriers. Teams must study how the obstacles users may overcome integrate with the solutions.
Dialogue. Analyze what's the design impact on users. Define the text tones and amount to ensure an easy experience.
Melody. In this scenario, the melody stipulates a design pattern. This arrangement must be predictable for users while creating emotional motivation.
Decoration. Here, the highlight is on the storytelling's integration and impacts. For it, teams must ask themselves which style meets users' expectations. What techniques would bring them closer to the product's goal?
Impact. Think about how to spawn an appealing design. It's not only about the product's creation process. Further, the idea is to create something users will remember.

How to Reach Users With Storytelling

Narrative and storytelling can impact design processes. Mainly, it's a straightforward way to acknowledge user research's outcomes. The idea is to set that data empathetically and attractively. Storytelling helps narrow the process' direction while focusing on the goal. There are several aspects to notice when applying storytelling in design-focused products.

Personas. User Personas are a vital piece of User Research. Here, teams can create "protagonists" to recognize how the product's solutions apply to them. Let's approach this point with an example and talk about John. He's a 40-year-old businessman looking for a balance between family and work. Further, he's seeking to have better control over his different activities. Can your product help to achieve John's wishes?

Functionality. The main idea at this stage is to provide solutions through good design. Hence, it's vital to draw timelines to represent the goals of different personas. Also, teams must match those goals with the product's solutions to ensure utility. For it, the narrative should be easy to read and explain how it helps to reach goals. Could the before-mentioned user easily understand the desired steps of your product?

Environment. Narrowing when and where users would use your product is also fundamental. It creates a more significant impact and sense of care in users. For instance, should your product be an app or a website? Should it have push notifications and reminders? What would a user see at first glance when using it? All these elements must also be within customization. Thus, taking care of typographies, color palettes, and design styles is essential. 

Questions. To know how to puzzle all parts together, asking some questions may help. For instance, what is the definition of a problem for a potential user? What can the final product do to erase said problem? What is the role of storytelling in allowing users how to solve the problem? There's also a vast field of "how" questions that can enhance the storytelling. How can users go through the beginning, steps, and achievement of the product's goal? How can storytelling help users to succeed in each stage? And, most important, how to engage users to create long-term habits with the products?

Why is Storytelling Important in Product Design?

When thinking of storytelling, the first thought in most minds is a book author. Yet, in some cases, this narrative includes images beyond words. When used, the main point is creating emotions when interacted with. Storytelling is a connected vehicle that allows readers to think, feel, and experience. In this context, design as a field is a visual storytelling method. Designers don't write stories. Still, they're aware of the narrative through product design. Here, storytelling applies to connect elements while seeking to improve quality. 

While it may not seem like it, Product Design integrates storytelling. It goes beyond a product or service itself; further, it walks by with interactivity. The achievement of successful experiences rises after combining data and design. Storytelling plays a vital part in successful outcomes. It gives them clear, intuitive, and practical approaches.

Final Thoughts

A good story can define how others see you. Thus, storytelling is essential for a company's thriving. Not only does it improve UX and engagement, but it also empowers users to become brand advocates. Storytelling allows products to create a direct dialogue with users. And at the same time, it provides optimal solutions for their problems. As a result, knowing your way to storytelling can be the key to opening the success door.