Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Story-storming: The aftermath

Probably the most important aspect to designing a user experience is the ability to come out with creative storylines to enhance that experience. The steps are still pretty much raw but I've finally extracted the essence of the whole experience while collaborating with DELL. So here they are:

Story-storming : The steps
Works best when:
+ Having done the initial user observations

+ Not holding back on far-out ideas during the session, go crazy.

+ Ideas can always be scaled back later on to make the story more convincing.

1 . List out the various situations of the observed context in the order from start to finish.

2. Identify points of insignificance or irritation from within the list.

3. For each point noted, brainstorm ways to make that particular situation interesthing.

4. Rewrite the list again into a story by using the ideas from the brainstorm session.

5. Mix and match the ideas to make the story more interesthing and cohesive.

6. Sketch out the storyboard for visualization.

The steps will be revised from time to time.

Updated 8hrs Later:

I went about googling the term "story storming". Surprisingly, there's only one other related search found other than this blog entry. A book titled

"Digital Storytelling in the Classroom"

By Jason Ohler

has an almost similar method to the steps that I had written. The link to the book preview which is available on Google books is HERE.
In it, Ohler wrote about transformation in a story. I took this as reference to identifying points of irritation or insignificance in the steps I had written. Ohler also wrote that, the stronger the transformation, the stronger is the story.

I believe that this method to unleashing creative ideas is extremely helpful when we're looking for innovative ideas that are extremely context dependent. A further search on YouTube with the term "immersive design" returns searches in relation to set and production design. I think that design opportunities presents itself readily in movies and stories. It's like how many times have you gone " I wished that thing was real.." when you watch sci-fi shows?

I may have digressed abit in the last paragraph, but the point is, using stories to identify design opportunities are extremely powerful and I guess it relates easily to anyone when you have to explain the concept.

This is just one of the uses of stories to unlock creativity in the design area. I believe that this could be applied to almost anyone in any field.

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