DEV Community

Cover image for Why the Best Designers are Storytellers?
Ilona Codes for Foundsiders

Posted on • Originally published at

Why the Best Designers are Storytellers?

People love stories because they tend to impart valuable compelling messages, and are inherited from generation to generation.

In today’s world, digital transformation is revolutionizing the art of storytelling: “How the smartest leaders use storytelling to drive digital transformation."

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

📇 Storytelling in UX design

Heading toward a digital era and using the web and mobile applications, interactivity became an essential part of an excellent user experience. That makes it crucial to apply an interactive storytelling UX strategy to retain user behavior across the digital product.

Good UX design begins with the words.

No matter in which part of your application you want to use UX storytelling, the result is to create content that people would be interested in and wish to proceed further.

💎 How storytelling impacts product design

Just watch this fascinating talk about how Netflix product team creates a narrative around content to deliver the perfect content in the right format to over 100 million members in 190 countries.

People connect to stories. And they want to know what comes next, and immediately engage in what you say. Because it's our nature to be intrigued and engaged with stories.
—Michaela Tedore, Product & Motion Design Lead at Netflix

So storytelling is essential in the world as well as in design, where interfaces are stories, and a product designer is a storyteller.

🖼 Storyframes before wireframes

Whether you are designing user onboarding or chatbot conversation or sign up form, think about people who will interact with it first.

Try to make this user experience memorable, engaging, and interactive with powerful stories to build a long-term relationship with the user.

Let’s try to figure out now how to put storytelling into product design:

1. The design process starts with creating the persona

2. Next, imagine the real-time conversation with that persona and write it down. It's possible to have a few scenarios in the beginning.

3. Frame the story by creating some structure—define the order of presenting the information.

4. Then provide the story flow—the reason for the user to go further and enjoy this journey by making them curious about what will happen next.

5. Make sure that the story is coherent with the product tone of voice, simple, user-friendly, and nice.

6. And keep the causation. The order of presented information shouldn't be random.

The point is when visualizing a real-life situation to a virtual world, the channel of communication is changing, but the context remains the same.

💭 Keep the user in mind

It's possible to write down everything as a person to person conversation through word-based user experience. Because people still stay in the same place along with their problems, goals, and needs.

Let's imagine that Alice, your ideal user, and she has a certain problem. So how can your product help her? How would you, as a product maker/designer, talk to her?

To answer these questions, this approach described above will help you keep your model persona in mind and write a good narrative.

This kind of narrative will take the user through the app and evoke the user's feelings as they are using the product. It will hook them to return to your product again and again.


Storytelling helps product designers put themselves in the shoes of the product users.

When they start thinking from that perspective, they have more information to make a decision that will benefit the user in addition to the product, because the true beauty of great design lies within the solution that a product provides.

Would you like me to make a case study towards a product based on storytelling strategy? Or maybe, you know and want to share a product with a great storytelling user experience? If yes, then reach out to me on Twitter or leave a comment below to start a discussion.

Make your best life,

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Top comments (2)

cat profile image

I used to create comics, and found that there are big similarities between designing for the user and writing a story. For instance, making up or exaggerating situations == thinking about edge cases in which the user may break the product.

I'm interested in reading about a case study example! Post away!

vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

Wow, didn't know about this. Yes, make a case study towards a product based on storytelling strategy!