The Importance of Storytelling for Designers

“We are in the industry of creating heroes.”

This phrase stuck in our mind as we listened to Manali Mitra speak to our Fellows about storytelling in design. Manali is currently the CDO at udChalo and over has 2 decades of experience in strategy, storytelling & design thinking.

The workshop was about the importance of building a story around the product. A fascinating example of the power of good storytelling is of iPhone & how Apple marketed the product in a way that made people want to own an iPhone.

So why is storytelling so important for designers? Because the moment a visual becomes attractive is when there’s a story attached to it. You must have experienced this: The story behind a product is what draws you to it and makes you feel like you can relate to it.

So how does one go about building their story? It’s good to have a checklist answering these questions:

🧩 What is the problem you’re trying to solve, or the big goal you want to achieve?

🧩 What is the product you are building?

🧩 Who/what is your competition during this process?

🧩 Why might someone NOT use your product?

🧩 How is your product better than your competitors?

🧩 What do you want your product to do in the next 5 years?

Another important element of your product story is the user story: your story told from the perspective of the user. With the product story being the ‘why’, the user story is more about the ‘how’ - how does your user interact with your product. Building a framework of the user story consists of stages like - who is the target user, what is the issue they are facing, what is the incident that kickstarts them on their journey, the crisis to be overcome and the resolution.

Following these basic guidelines can help you build a beautiful user journey.

Manali takes the storytelling in design masterclass for the Product Design Fellowship, and will be doing the same for Fellows of the upcoming cohort. She has been associated with ownpath since the pilot cohort of the Fellowship.

Looking to explore more about how storytelling impacts your product? You can find more resource links here.

🎯 Best Practices for Storytelling in Product & Service Design by Adobe

🎯 (A fun read!) Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling

🎯 Figma on storytelling

🎯 Strategic storytelling for designers

🎯 Andrew Fitzgerald’s (million+ views) Ted talk on storytelling: Adventures in Twitter fiction

🎯 How to influence through storytelling

🎯 A how-to guide to digital storytelling

🎯 Examples of successful storytelling (Nike, H&M, Starbucks)

🎯 Strategic storytelling: bridging ideation and scaling

🎯 Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”)’s Ted talk: The clues to a great story

🎯 Visual story telling for UI/UX

🎯 Art of storytelling around an app

🎯 7 types of stories: Which one is for you?

🎯 Find the heart of your brand storytelling through 6 questions

🎯 Primalbranding: Create Belief Systems that Attract Communities by Patrick Hanlon

🎯 How To Sell A $1 Snow Globe For $59: The Real ROI Of Brand Storytelling

🎯 The 7 Elements of Inbound Storytelling: How to tell a remarkable story and stand out.

🎯 How to Tell a Story with Data

🎯Storytelling With Design Thinking by Kika Douglas

We’re starting off Cohort 8 with orientation on the 31st of July. If you want to learn more about applying, just visit our website.

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