The classical Greek thinker Aristotle (384-322 b.c.e.) made many groundbreaking discoveries about the best way individuals work together, masterfully breaking down a phenomenon equivalent to public talking into its constituent components. Except for his well-known three appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos—the fundaments of any act of persuasion), his observations on the artwork of storytelling are one other nice reward to the fund of knowledge we are able to use in UX design. By specializing in every of those—Aristotle’s seven elements of storytelling—we’ll be heading in the right direction to constructing designs that carry our customers on board.
UX Designing with Aristotle – The Seven Methods to Win in Storytelling
How can we, as UX designers, plug Aristotle’s three appeals (logos—the info of an argument, pathos—the emotional dimension of an argument, and ethos—our showing as good-natured consultants) into our designs? Nicely, first, let’s keep in mind that we “communicate” by way of our designs. The person’s expertise flows throughout many moments, versus being restricted to a single cut-off date. Subsequently, with a view to attraction to them, we use a method known as storytelling. Aristotle’s essay “Poetics” outlines the components of fine storytelling, and it was a formulation for writing classical Greek tragedies. Like authors or artists, we are able to take this timeless and universally legitimate framework and adapt it to go well with UX design. So, now we have:
A typical plot tells the change in a personality’s fortune (from unhealthy to good or good to unhealthy). It’s the fundamental storyline, equivalent to “retired graphic designer desires to modernize talent set, goes to school, has some difficulties however succeeds”. In UX design, we outline the plot firstly of our venture to maintain a transparent imaginative and prescient by way of the method. A very good plot will assist the opposite components fall into place. For instance, if we have been designing a website for an organization that supplied high-end landscaping, we would have this situation to contemplate: “Rick desires so as to add some timber to his again backyard, however he doesn’t know that are finest or which is able to do effectively in his soil sort and local weather.” So, we’d make our web site in such a manner that he’d discover one of the best timber to plant in his backyard and would purchase those that may survive and thrive in his a part of the nation. Right here, we mix the purpose of the interactive product with the path to take our customers there. Plot accounts for a superb a part of what goes into what we design. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless solely a skeleton; we’d like extra.
Subsequent, we have a look at the characters in UX design. Right here, we outline our target market, as a result of our customers are most of what “characters” is about (though the model picture of our firm is one other consideration, as a result of that “character” will work together with customers, too). So, in our landscaping firm, we perceive that our customers (characters) are individuals like Rick, who stay in suburban settings, have some expendable earnings and are keen on timber. From their viewpoint, they see the picture we convey in our emblem (“Trevor’s Terrific Timber”), exhibiting the picture of the founder rigorously pruning a younger tree (they’ll see the founder, Trevor, on the positioning, too).
Now that we’ve established plot and characters, we are able to transfer on to theme. Theme may be difficult: it’s right here the place now we have to differentiate our firm from opponents. But, to determine belief with customers, now we have to make our design conform to the usual of our trade. So, with the identical plot and characters as our competitors, on this section we have to create an idea that appeals to customers over what our opponents have. In our landscaping firm, we might concentrate on the great thing about, say, bamboo or palm timber, and even use the inexperienced background to make our call-to-action buttons stand out. We wish customers to enter the best backyard that we’re creating for them, making it so actual that they get pleasure from being there, as if it have been an actual backyard. We can provide them concepts for their very own gardens within the course of.
Diction is the fourth consideration. It’s how our website “talks” to the person, i.e., formally or informally. That tone will drastically affect how customers understand our design. Right here, as a result of we signify a high-end landscaping firm, now we have to design in such a manner that our viewers will consider us as a useful authority who’s effectively conscious that we’re asking them to spend on high-quality, bigger timber that we ship. Usually, the dimensions of the potential funding we’re asking of our customers determines how a lot textual content we should present to indicate that we all know precisely what considerations they may have and introduce our timber, together with the high quality particulars of every species and which setting fits it finest. Subsequently, we would come with lengthy copy to tell potential clients, who might then match this detailed info towards the forms of soil they’ve.
Melody is our subsequent element. It’s the complete set of design patterns and is the logical base that customers will acknowledge. As a result of we’ve based mostly our design on the trade normal, we’ll have our buttons (e.g., “Tree compatibility”, “Know your soil sort”, and many others.) set out in a manner that customers count on (they could have visited many websites earlier than touchdown on ours to match costs, service phrases and suggestions). From there, they’ll instantly perceive the structure and work together accordingly.
Décor is only graphic design. It locations emphasis on the “setting” that we’ve already established. That is how we present our UX design. Within the case of our landscaping firm, we are able to choose the décor from many choices. Right here, we are able to decide whether or not we wish a contemporary or a classical look, or a easy or an in depth look. As a result of Trevor’s Terrific Timber gives a variety of prospects, from cold-climate conifers to warm-climate palms, our customers could have many choices to discover for his or her backyard concepts. We’d desire a classical look that suggests authority, making it detailed however not overly so (remembering Hick’s Legislation, to maintain it so simple as attainable). We’re reassuring our customers, graphically, that we all know what they need and we all know the enterprise of tree-keeping inside out.
Lastly, we depart our customers with the spectacle of our design. These are its particular options, the little elements that may impress customers. These will stick of their minds, in order that after they’re describing our design, they’ll say: “That’s the one with the x or the y.” X or Y are options they weren’t anticipating to see, equivalent to a bit character who seems on the display screen to assist the person if the session has been inactive for longer than 5 minutes. In our landscaping firm, we might have a function the place we let customers create a drawing house. If our person, Rick, had a backyard that was 9 meters large and 6 meters lengthy, he might use his mouse to faucet on which timber he want to place the place in his backyard. If he put them too shut collectively, we might present the most recent tree strolling off the display screen and embrace a caption, “Sorry, there’s not sufficient house there for that tree to develop.”
The Take Away
Making use of an adaptation of Aristotle’s storytelling framework (plot, characters, theme, diction, melody, décor and spectacle) empowers us to engineer designs that stand out from the competitors. We are able to make our customers snort or get them hungry to be taught extra. Realizing who they’re and what they need are very important steps to taking us the remainder of the best way, making a design that connects precisely on their wavelength. Above all, we wish them to have a superb UX, observe by way of on a call-to-action, and bear in mind us (changing into loyal and telling their buddies).
The place to Study Extra
van Geel, J. (2011). “Aristotle’s Storytelling Framework for Interactive Merchandise”. JohnnyHolland.org.
Thomas, S. (2015). “From Aristotle to AI: the evolution of storytelling [Digital Edge]”. Memeburn.
Right here is a superb pair of articles from Smashing Journal, providing a deep and entertaining examination of efficient storytelling in UX design: