Designers are storytellers.

I think it is simply magical to be able to use my work to tell a story.

That crafting user experiences is much more than just visual design; that we get to use art, prose and stories in our work to reach out and connect with people in deep and meaningful ways. That regardless of the relentless pace of change and shifting constructs in a digital world, that a craft as ancient and everlasting as story-telling is the very essence to creating seamless, enjoyable and memorable experiences.

Unforgettable stories 

Simply put, in a world of competing distractions and unlimited choices, content is king. Compelling narrative does not only attract and engage but more importantly, it serves a higher order purpose of guiding our users through a journey of discovery as they try to make sense of what we have to offer them and indeed, the other way around is just as true. Tell a great story, and you do not just rise above the noise, but you render yourself immortal in memoriam. The fact is that we never forget the stories that have touched us; and if anything else, good stories endure because we share it and pass it on for others to relive it, too.

Designing for the hero’s journey

My belief is that the most memorable of stories are those, which rest on the twin desires, and no doubt, many shades and guises, of fear and love. Marrying fear and love into the arc of a hero’s journey gives you the alchemy for wondrous, unforgettable ways of not just doing, but also, thinking and feeling about designing for people. To illustrate, how would you reframe your designs if you were intent on making them as loveable as Pixar’s “Toy Story” or as human as the Oscar-winning “Moonlight”? Just imagine the boundaries that you would be pushing (and even smashing) if you were to design a multi-channel grocery shopping experience that embodies the joys and foibles that is the reality of a working mother of two, as opposed to one that merely fulfils commercial practicalities?

As storytellers, designers think beyond just the design of products or services, and rather, we get to design meaningful relationships that will enrich and sustain – we are designing for living.


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