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Tell me about that - personas and storytelling

Presentation for STC NY Metro Chapter - 27 October 2011

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Tell me about that - personas and storytelling

  1. 1. Tell Me About ThatUsing stories in interviews &personasWhitney Quesenbery STC New York Metro Octobr 27, 2011
  2. 2. Hi! Whitney User researcher Theatre designer Storytelling as a way to understand users, their culture, and context in UX design Kevin UX designer Performance storyteller Storytelling as a pivotal part of creation, performance, and the design process
  3. 3. How do we use stories in UX?
  4. 4. A human-centred design process4 ISO 9241-210(formerly ISO 13407)
  5. 5. Stories are embedded in user experience Collecting stories tell us about context, goals, people Themes and patterns help us understand world views Success?Usability evaluation is away of trying the story out Design tells a new story that changes something about the world
  6. 6. We just don‟t call them storiesUser researchEthnographyContextual inquirySite visits Personas Affinity analysisUsability TestingWalk-throughsAnalytics Scenarios Storyboards Wireframes Prototypes
  7. 7. Stories add depth to the big picture Showing activities in context help you understand more clearly when, where and how a product will be used. Stories are an efficient way to communicate non- functional requirements or user characteristics Thinking in stories connects similar activities, attitudes, or goals across functions.
  8. 8. Why stories?
  9. 9. Changing a story can change the way 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, author of “Redirect” Maria Popova, „Redirect‟: A New Way to Think about Psychological Change. The Atlantic, September 9, 2011 www.theatlantic.com
  10. 10. Stories create relationships
  11. 11. Stories create connections What kind of connections do you want to make?
  12. 12. A story is created by everyone who hears it
  13. 13. A story is created by everyone who hears it
  14. 14. Is this a good UX story?
  15. 15. Scenarios become stories when we add emotion As a [role] I can [do something] so that [benefit] + + Imagery + Emotion + Context + Motivation
  16. 16. Stories help us explore complex interactions16
  17. 17. Stories are efficient Tanner was deep into a Skatepunkz game— all the way up to level 12—when he got a buddy message from his friend, Steve, with a question about his homework. He looked up with a start. Almost bedtime and his homework was still not done. Mom or Dad would be in any minute.  What can we learn about Tanner from this short story?
  18. 18. Stories turn a profile into a persona Elizabeth, 32 years old Married to Joe, has a 5-year old son, JustinAged 30-45 Attended State College, and45% married with manages her class alumni site children65% college educated Uses Google as her home page, andUse the web 3-5 times a CNN online reads week Used the web to find the name of a local official
  19. 19. Stories start with listening
  20. 20. Listening is not a competitive sport In many cultures, we are On your own chronically ―under-listened- Practice really listening: to‖ • Find a partner • Ask them to tell you about something…perhaps something that Be an appreciative listener they are proud of, or a difficult event. • Let them talk for 2 minutes  Give them your full attention • Just listen. Give them your attention.  Acknoweldge what you hear, Don‟t interrupt them. Just let them non-verbally talk. • Then switch.  Give the person time to think • Share what you learned about the as well as talk experience of being really listened to.  Don’t rush the end – sometimes people have one last thought20
  21. 21. Listen (and watch) for juicy tidbits  Stories you hear from more than one source  Strong detail and action  Details that illuminate other user data or analytics  Stories that contradict common beliefs  Simple, clear, and compelling21
  22. 22. Stories and UX starts with listening (& observing) In all of your user research, make time for stories  Go beyond basic questions  Ask about context: when, where, why (not just how)  Find out what they want to tell you Just say ―tell me about that‖22
  23. 23. Who can you hear the best stories from Best  People with no connection to your company who work in the context your product supports  People who match the demographics of the target users, and who have similar domain experience  People who recently worked in the domain and are still close to the job  People in your company who work with your product in the field  Trainers, technical support personnel, and others who support users in the field  Subject matter experts who do not work in the domain Worst23
  24. 24. Personas and stories
  25. 25. Personas let you explore situations and ideas The persona as a character provides perspective The relationships create the context The imagery suggests emotional connections The language can suggest the voice of the persona
  26. 26. Personas represent groups of stories Similar goals, beliefs, The web saves me attitudes time Visits a lot of different sites Uses e- Navigates easily commerce Similar ways of engaging in the activity Mistrustful of info online Leaves a site quickly Similar personal No-nonsense. Doesn‟t characteristics like cute Shared stories Very deliberate approach to web Uses search Likes to print long pages to read and Takes notes as save she works
  27. 27. Healthcare example
  28. 28. Melissa Laura Elizabeth InfoSeeker Caregiver Expert“I don‟t like to go “I want to know how to help my “I don‟t stay on a site long ifbackwards to go forwards” husband” nothing jumps out at me”Goals: Goals: Goals:Looking for new information Looking for helpful Information I can use information Answers to specific questionsTypical Questions: Typical Questions: Typical Questions:What is <condition>? What do I need to know Tell me something newAm I at risk? about it? What are the next I want the latest!Top Usability Need: steps I should take? I need <this> information.Engaging - I can tell I‟m in Top Usability Needs: Top Usability Needs:the right place by the Effective - I need resources, Efficient: Give me a searchamount and level of and the right information box and I‟ll tell you exactlyinformation Risks what I wantRisks Needs information she can RisksCurious - needs to be act on Already knows the basicsdrawn in. Little sense of siteloyalty
  29. 29. Stories organize data in memorable ways Personas not only organize data and facts, but help us recognize the persona as someone we can empathize with
  30. 30. Stories organize facts in recognizable ways. Just LIke Me - Determining Eligibility Online with Personalized Narratives - Thea van der Geest and Lex van Velsen, UPA 2010
  31. 31. Crafting stories
  32. 32. UX stories have a purpose  Meeting the users  Illustrating user needs  Points of pain  Brainstorming  Success stories  Design exploration  Evaluation task
  33. 33. Points of pain – show a problem Ten minutes is not enough. That‟s Tanner‟s opinion about the time limits on using the computer at school. Last Friday, he started working on a geography assignment and look up some information about the animals in Africa. He had just gotten started when his turn on the computer was up. He‟d like to work on it over the weekend, but can’t access the school library. He prints out a These stories create few things, and figures he will retype a vivid view of the problem from the what he‟s done when he gets home. point of view of the persona. What a bore.33
  34. 34. Springboard or brainstorming stories When Tanner comes home from school, he logs on to the web site and collects the essay he began during study period in school. He usually isn‟t allowed to play games on the computer until he finishes his homework, but he tells his A short and compelling mother, “this is my story, both illustrating a homework.” dilemma and hinting at the way out. They may be the spark of a new innovation, or based on an anecdote from user research.34
  35. 35. Stories are not a detailed task analysis Focus on the story  Establish the scene with imagery  What’s the time-frame?  What’s the emotional context Think about the persona’s perspective  How do they see the events or interaction?  What words do they use? Style of language?  What are the boundaries of the story from their point of view? (Hint: it might not be your product!) Don’t use the story to describe all of the details in the user interface.35
  36. 36. Story structures help you shape the meaning  Journeys show obstacles overcome  A hero’s journey  Framing structures create contrast  Us- Them - Us  Here - There - Here  Now - Then - Now  Stories can communicate mood or context  Layered images  Contextual interlude
  37. 37. Who is the hero of the story?37
  38. 38. Choose your perspective Third Person Second Person First Person Story is told about Story is a conversation Story is told from the someone, looking at between the storyteller point of view of the them from the outside and another person main character For example: For example: For example: A UX person telling Feedback to a A UX person telling the stories about how participant or other story of their own several different people stakeholder, reactions. responded to a prototype. ―Interviewing a Retelling a story from persona‖ the point of view of the Persona stories, original experience. especially if there is Talking directly to more than one users of a product Maintains a distance Creates a direct Invites the audience to between ―us‖ and connection and invites look at the story ―them‖ the other person to through the eyes of respond.38
  39. 39. Become the persona First person  You represent the persona and tell the story from their point of view.  Lets you ―get into the head‖ of the story Informance Representing an idea by acting in order to tell, explain and share it. (Brenda Laurel’s book on metods39
  40. 40. 3rd person allows you to explain and interpretMary works as a nurse in a hectic Whose words and thoughts arewomen’s health center for a low-income neighborhood. these?…  Are these things that MaryHer questions about cancer mostly would say or are they ourcome from her patients, or fromwanting to be sure that she interpretation of all the datacatches any early signs. and stories that went into the… Mary persona?She has learned conversationalSpanish, so she can talk to her  How can we show when wepatients for whom this is a first are using her own words?language.…When she looks things up on theWeb, she tends to go back tofamiliar sites
  41. 41. Creating a conversation invites identification Whose words and thoughts are these?  Who is included in ―we‖?  How does creating a sense of identity motivate action?41
  42. 42. Ways to share stories
  43. 43. There are many ways to tell a story  Elevator pitch  Stories you tell around a table  Written stories  Presenting a report  Comic or storyboard  Visual collage  In a formal presentation
  44. 44. Weave stories into your reports44
  45. 45. Create a narrative to show patterns Even if you don’t have one clip that shows the whole pattern, you can combine events into a story45
  46. 46. Make a video The NCI Cancer Bulletin: http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/101910/page6
  47. 47. Immersive environments encourage stories Ad agencies create rooms that represent the target market for a brand. http://www.core77.com/blog/business/core77_toyota_calty_studio_visit_round_2_how_theyre_winning_11167.asp47
  48. 48. Map the stories into the design48
  49. 49. Create the stories you want other people to tell What connections do you want to make?49
  50. 50. Storytelling can make your work richerand more effective
  51. 51. Storytelling for User Experience UX St o ry Card s A g uid e t o craft ing st ories for UXwww.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytellingwww.wqusability.com/storycards.html