Storytime: Shaping UX with Visual Narrative

Storytime: Shaping UX with Visual Narrative

I’ve spent a few years of my life doodling for kids’ books before moving to UX design. Turns out, those days of sketching weren’t just child’s play – they helped me in tackling the storytelling we do in UX design. It’s funny how my past life in arts helps me spin digital tales that resonate with users.

Storytelling in Digitals

It all started with a pencil in hand, trying to capture a child’s imagination on paper. I’ve been lucky enough to transition from art to digital, swapping my pencils for pixels. But the goal remains the same – creating engaging experiences that pull people in. Whether it’s a kid flipping a page or a user clicking through a website, if they aren’t hooked, you’ve lost them. And isn’t that what good storytelling is all about?

Drawing illustrations for children’s books taught me a crucial lesson about storytelling: it needs to be tailored to the way the audience, in this case, young readers, engage with it. This approach is deeply rooted in empathy – it’s about understanding and entering the world of your audience. I apply this same principle to my digital designs at Revolution. We’re not just constructing websites; we’re weaving narratives that are interacted with through clicks.

“Stories need to be told in ways that fit how they read them” essentially means aligning the story with the reader’s – or in digital terms, the user’s – expectations and ways of processing information. This requires not just a strong grasp of design principles but also a deep intuition about user behaviour. This can be also supported by analytics data. It’s about predicting what will draw users in, hold their attention, and make the experience memorable for them. It’s about engaging users in a dialogue that feels natural and rewarding to them.

Narrative in UX

In UX, every part of a website, like layouts and buttons, helps tell the user’s story. It’s like a kid’s storybook where every page guides them to the next and smoothly facilitates the story you want to tell. Think about how a storybook unfolds: each picture sets up the next part, right? That’s how I set up UX designs too – making sure each click leads smoothly to the next bit.

Using modern tools to create these flows (tools are just tools, though), isn’t much different from following the plots of children’s books. These platforms allow me to design each step from the user’s perspective, ensuring the flow of our digital story feels natural and engaging.

In children’s books, the hooks that capture attention aren’t always straightforward – sometimes they’re subtle or hidden within the story, drawing kids deeper into the adventure. In UX design, the approach’s more straightforward but based on the same principle: maintaining user interest through consistent elements and familiar references. This method helps create a seamless experience that guides users from one interaction to the next without losing their focus or interest.

Creating for kids taught me loads about grabbing their attention. Figuring out what catches a child’s eye – be it a cheeky puppy, a red square or a splash of bright colour – was always a highlight. In UX design, it’s similar. Sometimes a standout button or a unique colour draws users in. It’s about finding the right hook that makes them want to see what’s next.