Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stories are the human experience

The benefit of storytelling for user interface design ...

"Usability through storytelling, the theme for the UPA 2006 conference, was examined from many angles. Presenters looked at how stories fit into our work, throughout the entire user-centered design process.

During user research, we collect stories from individuals. These snapshots from many different people help us understand the variety of their experiences, so we can design for them more effectively.

Personas provide a way to create a usable view of data from many different sources. In writing the narratives and scenarios that are part of most personas, we create characters make user research easy to access.
As part of the analysis process, we create narratives from scenarios to use cases that explore how specific goals can be accomplished. In doing so, we describe the experience of using the product, exploring not just the what buttons are clicked or menus selected, but the entire experience.

Usability test reporting is also a kind of storytelling, as we find ways to communicate what we have seen while observing people work with a product or prototype.

All of these are useful perspectives, good examples of our roles in communicating and making use of user research and usability insights. But the importance of storytelling goes beyond these examples. It is the key to seeing the user experience in a holistic way, and to designing for that experience. This is because stories are not something added to the human experience, they are the human experience!"   continued ...   (Via


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