by Chérmelle D. Edwards By profession he’s a commercial director, but by passion he’s a filmmaker. Brandon Loper’s “A Film About Coffee” is a visual love letter about the…
All posts tagged “Telling”
Good stories leave a lasting impression. Even if the audience can’t remember exact details, years down the road, they will still remember if it was “awesome,” “horrible,” “sad,” “funny,” and even to…
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Everyone is a storyteller. Stories are how we explore our surroundings and communicate with others, whether it’s to persuade them, inspire them, or simply to entertain them. As designers, storytelling is an integral part of our creative process, because we use stories to connect with our clients, and especially with the users who interact with our designs.
Today, we’re going to go over the process of conjuring positive emotions in your users through the use of storytelling, improving the effectiveness of your designs in the process.
Recommended Reading: The Basics Of Emotional Design
What A Story Is
What do I mean when I say the word “story?” Are we talking about Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, with a handsome prince and a plucky heroine? No. Well, not usually, anyway. What I mean by storytelling is an event that happens during a user’s experience that creates a positive emotion.
Don Norman in the TED video Three Ways Good Design Makes You Happy gives a delightful example of storytelling in the playful designs of various designers, including an interactive ping pong table, and chairs by Jake Cress that appear to be “reaching” for missing pieces that are “running away” from them. In these designs, you can immediately tell what’s going on – the designer is attempting to communicate with you through the clever anthropomorphism of the products.
Stories Keep Us Human
We digital designers can utilize the same basic principles to tell stories to our audiences. As can be seen in the previous example, it doesn’t take much to generate a story that makes people laugh or inspires them to feel a connection with you, the designer, through your designs. Just a small bit of humanization where there isn’t expected to be any, can do the trick.
Otherwise, you can come up with your own simple stories to tell. Because if there’s one thing to definitely keep in mind, it’s that…
Simple Is Better
The simpler your story, the more impact it can have on people who only look at it for a few seconds. The power of emotion can turn even the most generic imagery into a powerful storytelling medium. The popular website Reddit uses simple storytelling with its mascot, the little white alien.
Occasionally, the front page of Reddit will feature the alien in intriguing situations, such as (ironically) getting abducted by aliens. Alexis Ohanian, one of the founders of Reddit, has said that this simple use of storytelling on the Reddit front page has garnered the website massive traffic and advertising revenue over the years.
Remember, if the key elements are in place, the stories will tell themselves. You don’t need to explain anything or hold your users’ hands – people are usually smart enough to “get it”. It’s all in the expression of your message. You can create a single message that gets people’s attention in many different ways, and make that same message evoke different emotions.
Emotional response is not always about clear readability – in fact, that’s rarely the case. It’s much more about using design elements – color, shape, composition, scale – to communicate whatever emotion will have the greatest impact.
Stories Make People Happy
You make better decisions when you see good design. Why? Because seeing pretty things make you happier. Good storytelling will be automatically accepted and embraced by your audience. Again, you don’t even have to explain it – if it connects on a visceral level, the story will immediately tell itself. Your users will smile, laugh, and happily follow the calls to action you place before them.
On the flip side, of course, stories can evoke other emotions besides happiness. Pride, sadness, hope, confusion, anger – any emotion can be present in a design. Cultural and historical context is important as well.
Political advertisements can conjure a drastically different emotion after a major historic event (World War II, for example) than they did before it happened. What was previously harmless and intended to inspire happiness suddenly becomes a reminder of a terrible injustice or socio-political disaster.
Design In The World
Design isn’t just something that we as professionals get paid to do. Any instance where people interact with the world around them to create a solution to a problem qualifies as design.
Something as simple as leaning your bicycle against a tree – the tree is an object in your space that can be used to solve a problem you have (where can I rest my bike?). The stories we as individuals tell one another in the space where we live can be just as powerful as the stories we tell our audiences as designers – sometimes even more so.
Stories In Graffiti Form
For example, the ways in which people interact with a design can in themselves tell a story. Graffiti and vandalism can tell a surprisingly wide range of stories about how the things designers create are received in the world. What businesses do people respect the most, or the least? Where is a client’s message going to be most effective? Look at the graffiti.
I could go into extreme detail about the social indications of graffiti, itself a complex and fascinating form of design. But in terms of professional work, even digital design has its own kind of “graffiti” in the form of comments, anonymous reviews, and even more malicious things like hacking.
It’s important for designers to observe the storytelling that takes place all around us, and use it to start and lead conversations that will help shape the world. Being a thought leader is a high social position that is available to any designer, in even the smallest of ways. All you need is a really good story.
The Bible is giving your passwords away, according to an Ars Technica report on the future of password cracking. The site spoke to password security researcher Kevin Young, who describes how he and fellow researcher John Dustin fed the book — among 15,000 cribbed from free online repository Project Gutenberg — into their cracking software. The software started to utilize words and phrases found in literature and on websites, and was first used on 344,000 passwords leaked from intelligence firm Stratfor in 2011. Ars Technica says both watched as “a flood of once-stubborn passwords revealed themselves.”
Ars Technica goes on to explain how Young and Dustin — along with other researchers — used the method with later leaks, how…
The article reveals the main methods of creating motion in web design.
Template Monster Blog
The article reveals the defines the motion in web design, touches the history and provide with classification.
Template Monster Blog
Today we are going to celebrate the unsung heroes that are… our fingers. I think it’s pretty safe to say that all articles of Hongkiat are written by using fingers. From clicks to swipes, from tapping to typing, we cannot really do without fingers in this digital age. Our daily tasks will be extremely hard to execute and complete without them, and it’s only fair to celebrate fingers in at least one post, like the one we have today!
(Image Source: Mupii)
With the help of creative re-imaginings and clever tricks of ‘finger artists’, we now can get a look into the lives of the finger people. Check out these 30 impressive photos of fingers depicting very human lives. Full list after the jump.
Abrigos. Note that your fingers are parts of your body too, and they could feel cold too! So get them some nice coats to keep them warm. (Image Source: Mupii)
Bad Boys. Instead of painting directly on fingers, Komusō drew the faces using a software, creating this unique and amusing piece! Check out the moustache on that one! (Image Source: Komusō)
Controversy. Oh my dear fingy, who attacked you? (Image Source: soheresanomelette)
Conversation of 3 Fingers. Well, they seem to be having a pretty fun conversation. Also the cool thing about this artwork is that the expressions look so natural! (Image Source: Frozen Moments)
Earth Day. Even fingers are celebrating Earth day! And it’s so true, we’re all stuck together on the same Earth, like these finger people are stuck together in the same palm. Better make the best of it. (Image Source: Cathy86)
Finger Punk. “For sure it’s the middle finger =D” (Image Source: Weyler Tomaszewski)
Friendship. Awe, aren’t they cutest finger friends? (Image Source: arjunv)
Good Day. Don’t always stay in your room, even your fingers know how to bask in the sunlight! (Image Source: Mupii)
Bad Day. Probably the face that my fingers will show me when I have played too much video games by knocking the keyboard aggressively. (Image Source: Andres Reynoso)
Happiness and Joy. They will always be together throughout their whole life, so why not live it in a happy way? (Image Source: Brian Kaleo Cox)
Hi. This one has a beard! (Image Source: Kotaro Kawano)
Hug. They share a heart and a hug. Thanks Imadlak for this lovely one! (Image Source: Imadlak)
I Guess That’s Love. It looks like these fingers have a far better love story than I do. No, I am not crying. (Image Source: Imadlak)
Lover. And here’s another lovely moment of the finger couple, captured by creator Mupii. (Image Source: Mupii)
Madam Fifi. Madam Fifi has a lot of detailed accessories, and she obviously had a very nice skincare treatment. (Image Source: (f)ritz)
Just Smile! “These are the kind of expressions I wear every day. And now, so do my fingers!” (Image Source: Daisy Oak)
Master Thief. Hey, what is that thing behind your back, Mr. Little Finger? Besides the fact that the expressions are accurately illustrated, you could see that Cathy86 has really invested lots of effort to make this work as realistic as possible. (Image Source: Cathy86)
The ‘Solo’. There’s always a naughty one in the band of the hand, can you guess which finger I’m talking about? (Image Source: Cathy86)
Mr. Finger’s Big Surprise. She is speechless with the flowers he has for her. It’s nice to know that some people put effort into making you happy. (Image Source: olivia house)
Ninja Finger. He’s coming and he’s invisible… he is Ninja Finger. Epic idea from epic Timegril4468! (Image Source: Timegirl4468)
Out For The Night! Relax with your fingers when all the work for today is done! 2 super-mini beers please! (Image Source: Poke The Rock)
Relaxing In A Tub. Nothing like a bubble bath to help a busy finger relax. No more facepalming on the keyboard for today. (Image Source: (f)ritz)
Share the Cake. To listen or not to listen? That’s the question for this finger. But first of all, how will it eat the cake? (Image Source: Poke The Rock)
Taking Photo. Enchanting and detailed face illustration is what makes this work really stands out from the rest. (Image Source: EllieHickles95)
TGIF. Probably the best-dressed finger of the list! Time to get down on Friday! (Image Source: (f)ritz)
The Lost Finger. Whoa… where am I? (Image Source: Misanthropus)
UGHHH. I admire Felipe Katsumata for coming up with this really creative idea and ughhh, it looks really painful! (Image Source: Felipe Katsumata)
Under My Umbrella. Another work that makes me feel like having a life partner, I envy these fingers and you know why! (Image Source: maskqueraide)
Do not underestimate the efforts put into these finger! Though most of them look really simple, it actually takes lots of brain juice to make those boring fingers look really interesting and as lively as possible. Therefore, a heartfelt thanks to artists and photographers who went so far just to take an awesome photo that cheers up our routine-filled life! Be sure to share with us more touching or amusing finger people stories!
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- Retro Game Characters Invading Our Real Life [PICS]