Book Summary: Storytelling for UX (1/3)

This is book is the first book chosen for Oslo’s UX book club. It was a quite interesting book about using stories and storytelling techniques in different steps of the User Experience design process. The following is the first part of my (long) summary of the book. The summary is mostly intended to remind me things I read, but probably/hopefully it will be interesting and useful to others. As the book is more or less divided in four parts (introduction, listening, how to fit stories in the process and how to create a story), I’ll cover the introduction and the notes on listening in this post, and will leave the other two parts to other posts. Edit: see parts two and three.

Introduction (chapters 1-2)

Stories help keeping people at the center (p. 2). There are different types of stories (p. 5):

Interesting quote in page 10, with the message “until you hear a story, you can’t understand the experience”.

Stories are interactive, change with the audience (p. 14). They also not only describe actions, but add context and why (motivation). There is a fine line with how many detail to include in motivation, because of shared cultural understanding and other things (p. 17, 19).

Stories have different roles:

In any case, stories are not “made up”: they’re based on data.

Listening (chapter 3)

Really listening to users (e.g. in interviews and such) gives you access to a lot of info you can’t get anywhere else. Open questions are very important for this. Giving time to answer sometimes gives people time for second thoughts (not just what they think you want to hear), which has more value than the first reply. Also, pay attention to the context, people forget to mention “obvious” (for them) everyday facts.

Practising active listening is very important, see the following links:

And that’s it for the first part. Stay tuned for the rest of the summary.