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Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933820477
ISBN-10: 1933820470
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rosenfeld Media; 1st edition (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933820470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933820477
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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There is nothing more persuasive than a well told story. As most User experiences revolve around an action done by a person, to achieve a result, creating a story to illustrate the success or failure of the action is a natural fit. It is also a natural fit for showing the user's motivation in the first place. The place of storytelling in the Usability engineers repertoire in many ways you would think is a natural one. However as most usability professionals are trained engineers/scientists the process of developing a story around their process/product may not come so easy. Most engineers are interested in facts and figures and not the softer stuff of storytelling. But facts and figures while being accurate, may not be as compelling as a well crafted story that puts their audience in the shoes of the user, or developing the story further to show the gains to be had in the market place for a more usable product. Let's face it storytelling is also salesmanship.

This book addresses the role of storytelling in both Usability testing, Design and Reporting.
Briefly the chapters are listed below. You can see the subchapters online as you can view inside this book. I've noted where items really grabbed my attention.
Chapter 1: Why Stories
Chapter 2: How UX Stories Work
Chapter 3: Stories Start with Listening (and Observing)
Chapter 4: The Ethics of Stories
Chapter 5: Stories as part of a UX process
Chapter 6: Collecting Stories (as part of UX Research)
*****(walking through tasks as a persona you are more likely to use a product like they would.
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Format: Paperback
Stories persuade, explain and engage and storytelling is one of the most important skills for a design researcher. In this book Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks explain their techniques and approach. The book is in part a collection of stories about using storytelling in design that illustrate how and where stories fit into design. For me, many of the most interesting and useful tips were in looking at the structure of stories (particularly comparing a simply told story with an equally compact but more dynamic, convincing and memorable form). As usual with a Rosenfeld Media book, it's all beautifully presented. Whitney Quesenbery has done a great deal to awaken designers to the power of storytelling. Certainly she's changed the way I approach collecting and reporting user research. This book may do the same for you.
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Format: Paperback
I've been eagerly waiting for this book ever since Whitney Quesenbery asked me to comment on parts of the book as they wrote it, and I knew that they had chosen to use some of my stories. So as I quickly had my first glance through the book, I couldn't resist looking first at the places where I was mentioned, and came to this story from Whitney:

"The first time I talked about storytelling in public, I was pretty nervous. Debi Parush, Karen Bachmann, and Basil White sat up with me the night before while I ripped up and rewrote the whole presentation. The next morning, I arrived to find a room full of people and Caroline Jarrett sitting in front, notepad at the ready. Terrifying".

And I'd thought I was being friendly and attentive! What she doesn't say is that her presentation was brilliant. I started using stories myself, and I also invited her to teach a workshop at a training event I was organising a few months later. We've been working together on and off ever since.

That story sums up our whole working relationship, based on deep mututal respect, constantly challenging each other to do the best work we possibly can, and occasional dramatic differences in perspective.

Which brings me to my review of the book. I've given it five stars, as you might expect knowing that Whitney and I work together, but I hope my story helps to convice you that despite our association, I'd never do that unless I thought the book thoroughly deserved them.

Chapters 1 through 5 are the first section of the book. They explain how stories work, calling on our shared human experiences that go back to the time before writing when our culture, history, and craft were communicated through stories.
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Format: Paperback
While I am a friend of Kevin's, this book represents my first exposure to his expertise as a user experience professional. I've now put the methods in the book to practical use, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants an easy way to get started in improving user experiences.

I am one of the leading organizers of National Robotics Week, a broad initiative supported by industry, academia and nonprofits to raise public awareness of robotics and to celebrate how robots can help students excel in science, technology, engineering and math. After the first National Robotics Week in April 2010, I started to consider how we might be able to improve the website for 2011. Based on my previous work in human-robot interaction and ethnography, I recognize the importance of understanding the user when developing new technology. I haven't had any formal training in user experience, nor are there any UX specialists working in my division.

Needless to say, the thought of reworking the website was overwhelming. We have many, many different groups with an interest in National Robotics Week -- members of the robotics industry, academic researchers, educators from formal and informal learning settings, students of all ages, robot hobbyists and more. I needed a way to organize the experiences that all of these groups had with using the website in 2010, and I needed a way to do it relatively quickly and inexpensively.

I dove into _Storytelling for User Experience_ enthusiastically. Even without a background in user experience, I was able to understand why stories are important and see how to generate my own. I found the plentiful real-life examples and the summaries at the end of each chapter to be particularly helpful.
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