The Stories We Tell

Nick Jensen
Nick Jensen

Humans are wired for stories. Stories activate our minds. They give us experiences and can influence our way of thinking. We naturally search for meaning in the stories that are told to us. It is the reason we use stories as the drivers for sales, marketing, and design.

In product design, we find ourselves with many tasks that we must complete to reach our goal. In Scrum, you would have these tasks written out on sticky notes all over the walls. You would then place in what seems a logical order to move to a Sprint for production.

These simple tasks should be much more than just items to check off; they should tell a story. The story they tell will help better to define the purpose and the motivation behind each task.

All stories follow the same pattern or story arc. They are broken down into three acts, and you can spot these in every movie, book, or TV show you watch.

These three acts can be directly applied to your planning:
A character with a problem to solve; could be a specific user role or function that has found itself with conflict.
The character then finds the solution and adapts; how your user begins to reach their goal.
The character finds resolve and benefits from the solution. Your user is satisfied with the result of your product.

Understanding this story arch and applying it to every project, product, and the task will create a more user-driven experience.

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