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Book Summary: Storytelling for UX (3/3)

And this is the last past of the summary of “Storytelling for UX” (first part, second part). In this last part I’ll cover the tips to create stories. At the end I’ll do a mini-review of the book and will add some extra comments.

How to create a story_ _

Stories have four elements: audience, ingredients, structure and medium.

Audience

There are two important relationships in stories: story-audience and you-audience. About the first, you want to include details that fill the gap, and also stories are a good way to make the audience see a different perspective by feeling it. Finally, endings are important. They should be memorable and settled (“take them home”).

Ingredients

See checklist on p. 209.

Structure/plot

Structure is the framework/skeleton of the story. Plot is the arrangement of the events. Strong structures help the audience, the author and the story (p. 215). See types of stories on p. 216. “Checklist” for good structure and plot on p. 235.

Medium

Four big media: oral (mind the gap to written, p. 243), written (make the point explicit, keep it short, make use of cultural cues as in p. 253), visual (comics and storyboards work, see p. 258-260), multimedia/video.

See tips on how to integrate stories in reports on p. 265 and p. 266. See strong sides of different media on p. 272.

Mini-review and conclusions

I quite liked the book, although I admit that the last part (the one summarised in this post) was a bit disappointing. I guess it’s hard to give tips about something as complex as creating a story, in a book. The book has a very clear structure and it’s easy to follow and read, which helps in figuring out what to read, what to skim and what to leave for later.

Another thing that really struck me while reading the book (the second book I read following the tips from “How to Read a Book”) is how little I used to understand of the books I read. I now go through the book three times: one to get an idea of the structure and the most interesting parts, one to read the content, and one to review and make a summary. So even while I was reading it for the last time, I made sense of things that I hadn’t realised while reading the book (and that was after knowing the structure, knowing what to expect from each chapter, and having made some preliminary notes!). Not only that, but I also feel that I’m much more critical with what I read and I compare it much more with what I think myself.

If you aren’t doing it already, I strongly recommend that you give those tips a try…