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Storytelling makes research data come to life


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Presentation at UX Camp Copenhagen, May 2018
We all love our user research data… but why is it such a struggle to use the insights we uncover to create direction for our project? Storytelling is the missing link, getting past charts and graphs to dig into data. Whitney will show how stories put research insights into context, communicate the entire user journey, show problems through the eyes of your users, and help you ask better questions to gain deeper insights.

Published in: Design
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Storytelling makes research data come to life

  1. 1. Storytelling makes research data come to life Whitney Quesenbery Center for Civic Design @whitneyq
  2. 2. Stories… Create a community
  3. 3. Our brains are wired for stories
  4. 4. Use your left hand to hold the paper out in front of you, with the + on your right. Use your left eye to look at the + Move the paper towards you slowly…until the circle seems to disappear +
  5. 5. What happens when the circle disappears? Your brain doesn’t leave a hole, but fills it in with the surrounding background
  6. 6. There must be a story in here somewhere
  7. 7. But add a storyteller ….
  8. 8. UX stories fill the blind spots in our product vision
  9. 9. Stories… Create relationships
  10. 10. Stories… Are created by the listener
  11. 11. Stories are not a broadcast
  12. 12. Stories create shared understanding 1
  13. 13. Stories create shared understanding 2
  14. 14. Stories create shared understanding 3
  15. 15. Stories create shared understanding 4
  16. 16. Things you hear from more than one source Have a lot of action detail Have details that illuminate user data Surprise or contradict common beliefs And are clear, simple, and compelling. Stories start from juicy fragments
  17. 17. We tell stories with data
  18. 18. Stories change how we think Our experience of the world is shaped by our interpretations of it, the stories we tell ourselves.... so the key to personal transformation is story transformation. - Timothy Wilson, Redirect
  19. 19. What story are these personas telling?
  20. 20. A story is a way of looking at the world “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
  21. 21. Why do people get so lost on our site?
  22. 22. What is the path of a cancer journey?
  23. 23. Stories put a face on data
  24. 24. What’s the trigger to commit? Rachel, Enthusiastic dreamer 28, finished one year at uni, works in an office Lives in North London with a partner Hasn’t settled down to a plan for her life First contact: OU ON TV Insomnia led Rachel to the OU, watching programs on the telly. She starts to enjoy the programmes and thinks about doing something to improve her career. It takes her a long time to act on this idea, but finally, she visits an Open Day. She spends ages thinking about it, sometimes browsing the web site, but also reading the brochures she has taken from the Open Day. On her third trip to an Open Day, she finally registers for an Openings course that’s about to begin.
  25. 25. eggs onions cabbage vinegar potato salmon Why are people searching for groceries on a university website?
  26. 26. ”Nurses don’t use technology”
  27. 27. Stories help us see patterns and use them to set priorities
  28. 28. UX work is full of stories Make the most of them
  29. 29. Stories… Are a catalyst for change
  30. 30. Thank you Whitney Quesenbery @whitneyq Storytelling for User Experience ng Center for Civic Design @civicdesgin