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08 Nov, 2021

Top 5 Steps on the Way to Good UX Storytelling in Design

UX storytelling is elaborating a good experience in the form of a story.

Stories are how we remember. We tend to forget bullet points.

Robert McKee

The implementation of storytelling methods support your UX design in several aspects like mapping user journeys, creating personas, writing user stories, and much more. Achieving good UX storytelling means you are convincing your stakeholders to believe in your ideas.

The following are some major elements of storytelling in the design process:

  • Reason for your story
  • The main character (hero)
  • Start with a conflict
  • Structure
  • Creation of awareness
  • Virality

Have you ever incorporated storytelling in design thinking?

Most of the designs in the market do not represent a story hence lack user attention. Good UX storytelling in design sets a foundation for visual marketing. So never underestimate the power it holds.

design thinking process

Let’s discuss how UX storytelling in design is productive for users?

Storytelling techniques assist UX designers with the management of processes according to the user’s psyche. It includes different things like creating personas, writing user stories, mapping user journeys, etc like we told above.

Here’s a famous quote.

You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; the design is made for people.

Dieter Rams

There are two types of stories in design:

  • one that a user doesn’t like
  • the other one through which a user gets impressed

We are going to discuss both of them.

A story that Users Doesn’t Like

Do you know what users usually don’t like in your designs? Here are those reasons:

  • Your users do not demand a success story
  • They are not interested in any project’s origin story

Your users remain interested in themselves and demand to have stories that revolve around their interests. But it doesn’t mean you don’t have to post anything in contrast to your company’s success. You can post daily updates to keep the audience engaged but make the boring thing interesting.

You can even present success stories of your employees as an example for your users from beginning till end. Such stories catch attention; your audience can relate to them to ensure whether they are lifting themselves in the right way or not. For example: if there is a startup preparing a recipe for disaster, you can share your story as an inspiration just to motivate them by telling how you got to where you are today: from a startup company to a growing one.

Stories that Users Like

Like every story, your UX storytelling must include characters, settings, a conflict that deals with something exciting, and its result. Your design must include two basic things:

  • Story of the user prototype
  • The storyline of a real life-user

Here are the 5 steps that improve your UX storytelling:

  • Target your audience
  • Create user prototype
  • Role of the protagonist in design
  • Make a visual plot
  • Create conflict and resolve the problem

1- Target your audience

Make yourself clear about what story you are planning to tell and who will be the audience. Initiate your design story according to the interest of your targeted audience. Research your audience through effective communication and work according to his likes and dislikes.

2- Create user prototype

Are you aware of the user prototype? A user prototype is a user story that demands a compilation of his portrait. A user portrait assists you with making things more creative and engaging for the targeted user. For example:

3- The Role of a Protagonist

Do you have a creative design, but it lacks conversion? What is the reason? Maybe you are lacking the role of protagonist in your storytelling.

Commonly, no one feels empathy with the shapes, text, or color spots. Thus, have a protagonist in your UX storytelling.

Who is the protagonist in UX design?

User prototype

A user prototype is the protagonist (main character or representation) of your design through which a user can relate with. Every character of a different age group has its liking, relatable people, and certain objects to make a connection.

For example, a professional businessman relates himself with a good-looking person, suited, car-loving, family-oriented person. A young adult relates himself with an enthusiast, emotional, sharp-minded, humorous, stylish personality. A child matches himself with animated characters, clowns, cute animals, cartoon characters, etc.

The above-mentioned example shows that knowing your audience can assist you with bringing the best image and tools for better engagement during storytelling in design thinking.

UX Storytelling principles


Have you ever witnessed a product as a protagonist? Or as a lively character that relates many things with the user? You might be. It seems funny, but you can narrate the story of a single product by showing his connections with his user. How does your ‘Mr.Product’ assist different people, how does he face troubles, what are his attempts to save himself from the market?

It is essential to present your product as a character; it will make your UX storytelling user-friendly.

The Role of an Antagonist

Have you ever witnessed a story without a villain? If yes, it must be boring. Antagonist always creates a problem for the users and your product, a protagonist is meant to resolve it.

Imagine you are running a medical store and post a picture of a person sneezing. On the other hand, you post another picture of an animated “Mr. Evil Snivel” that acts as a villain and destroys your immune system. Which one is worth remembering?

4- Make a Visual Plot

Are you aware of the plot? The plot is a summary of a story that deals with the reader to catch its attention. The visual plot is a similar process in which your design explains UX storytelling, and your audience has to guess it on its own.

A professional designer creates a visual path with images and characters in it to engage people emotionally and allow them to intimate themselves in storytelling in design thinking.

Good UX storytelling entails two types of plots: One is for the real-life user, and the other one is for the prototype. Below is its explanation.

storytelling in design thinking

Plot for the user

This story is of the user experiencing the interface by the designer…

This plot resolves a few things like, what does a user want? What are his problems? What is his approach to resolving any difficulty? It is suggested to create a visual story that is comfortable for users and fulfills their demands.

It is essential to present your user as an active participant and it is achievable through the following prospects.

You have to manage micro-interactions throughout the story, the best example of this scenario is “when a user taps a button in a mobile app, and the button pulls down towards a certain navigation”.

  • Sustain interactive communication with your user.
  • Evaluate user reviews and work accordingly.

Plot for Prototype

In this story, we visualize a character for the user through visual images to engage his memories and emotions.

5- Create conflict and resolve the problem

There is no story without a conflict, try to understand the fears and worries of your user and create the right kind of conflict according to his mentality. Interface storytelling motivates a user to make a decision.

For example

If you are running a light bulb company, your designer does not have to portray a beautiful lighting bulb in the image. A designer’s approach must be according to the fear of the user if he represents a man sitting on the table in the dark, working and waiting for the light to come, or maybe he is exhausted from the fused bulb. A user automatically gets attracted. Later on, show your product ‘a light bulb’ brightens in the room and turns that person into the happiest person alive.

Resolve The Problem

Your primary goal is to resolve the user’s problem by providing the information according to his interests and encouraging him to buy your product. Good UX storytelling resolves problems without even damaging anything.

Are you exploring a professional UI/UX design for your company? Contact us now, our designers are trained to present good UX storytelling according to the psyche of a client. mockup machine is a professional platform to assist you with storytelling in design thinking.

Move your concept one step closer.