As a writer, teacher, and student of graphic design, I appreciate a good story. When I was a journalist, I was most often given the profile stories, the human interest pieces, because I loved telling a story in its entirety, not just a flash of spot news. The stories are the most important to me.
Perhaps that is what draws me to web design. I love artistic sites, but they have to help me – the “reader” – create easily and accurately a story in my head as I look at it. Good we design has everything to do with storytelling. Stories help people relate to the subject on a more emotional level, and emotional investment is what web designers want from their users to keep them on the page, to keep them interested, to make them want to act.
Example of good use include Google. Look at Google. I mean really look at Google. It is the epitome of simplistic. But almost every week, sometimes more or less often, it does something different. There is a widget to hook a user, related to history, holidays, milestones, or almost anything, usually unexpected. There are several reasons this is so effective. First, it’s different from the expected. But mostly, it’s related to a story. Usually, the widget itself is fascinating and tells a story, but they it is linked to the real story behind the design — both the event it represents and the process to create it. Stories, stories, and more stories. Here the one from the 2012 spring equinox:
Another site I’ve been discussion in classes this week is a spoof site for an integrated marketing campaign. Part of the effectiveness of this site is the story DirecTV created. Here is the site and it includes multi-media storytelling.