12 Aug 2021 Frank Spillers

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Storytelling Masterclass recap

Storytelling Masterclass recap

Storytelling Masterclass- Strategies for getting user needs embedded in teams and design

In this monthly meet-up, we covered the ‘Master Skill’: storytelling. Storytelling in UX practice is critical for sharing key information with stakeholder audiences and doing user advocacy. Storytelling is so important because it’s how our brains work. Steve Jobs understood the power of storytelling from his days as CEO of Pixar:

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” -Steve Jobs

In the Storytelling Masterclass, we learned Storytelling skills with an aim to improve design decision communication among teams. We discussed the role of story for a UX practitioner (UX Designer or UX Researcher). In short, storytelling is a key professional “soft” skill.

One short story from outdoor retailer REI (as told originally by Jared Spool): When REI was usability testing it’s e-commerce site, it realized (from user behavior) that shoppers wanted to inspect shoe soles (technical performance details). This led to a change in content presentation (of shoes), adding sole photos, and leading to an increase in customer satisfaction and conversion. This is an example of generating Emotional Value and getting Desirability right.

REI shoe with the words Got Sole?

Here are some themes, tools, and techniques we covered:

  • Story structure, and how to use it to aid in design decision conversations.
  • Storytelling UX essentials- how to get the best user stories with the highest business impact (ROI).
  • Microstorytelling- going viral with user insights.
  • Improv- going into Mentalizing to activate ‘hidden empathy’ for user scenarios.
  • Using Story as a Research tool- using ‘Story-mapping‘ to communicate your user journey.
  • Using Story as a Design tool- using ‘Question-storming‘ to warm up teams to user needs discovery.
  • Turning your team into a Story-centric UX group: communicating to stakeholders and non-UX teams.

We also learned powerful presentation skills and how best to communicate qualitative research.

You can check the course out here:

Storytelling: strategies for getting user needs embedded in teams and designs (Masterclass)

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