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Usability: A Well Told Story

Have you ever had the pleasure to listen to a really good story-teller? The kind that you’ll hang around a little while longer even though you have other things to do… because the experience is so enjoyable. I was remembering a story-teller I met in Oregon a few years ago and it got me thinking about the parallels of story-telling and a good user experience. Really they are the same thing.

Honesty
In both cases, you go into the experience hoping it will be a good one, and doubting the credibility of the endorser will weaken the experience – ruin it completely if it isn’t there. Be honest about what I’m here for, and then deliver on that.

Focus

Please stay on point – its hard to follow you if you are jumping all over the place.

Continuity

You really want the entire experience to flow or weave together so that it makes sense and is consistent the entire way through.

Get to the Good Stuff – fast!

If a story-teller takes too long to present you with something interesting there’s a good chance you’ll move on before they finish. Sorry, my time is precious and this is painful.

 

There are probably a dozen more traits we could think of, but you can see the parallels. Story-telling is one of the oldest types of user experience, so there are a lot of really great examples out there. The next time you are creating your own user experience, think of the story you are weaving for someone, and make it an enjoyable one.

 

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