Top UX Trends of 2019: Strategic Storytelling

As technologies become more and more complex, it becomes necessary to make them easy to use so that they can accomplish their destiny to make lives better. Thus the importance of user experience comes into play. Your product may be the ultimate tool for solving the most urgent problems of mankind, but if nobody figures out how to use it, it is doomed to receive no traction.

To avoid this “apocalyptic” outcome we are publishing a series of articles that will acquaint you with the top trends of UX in 2019: strategic storytelling, UX writing, and voice UI.

The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.
Steve Jobs

It is scientifically proven that when we hear a story that resonates with us on a personal level, the release of oxytocin - the hormone that increases feelings like trust, compassion, and empathy - is boosted.

So when you invite your users to live through the story of your product, feeling how the plot develops them as principal heroes, they feel much more engaged with the product and the brand itself.

This may not be news for those involved in marketing and advertising, but now it is also essential to make sure the story of your brand is embedded in the product itself and this can be done via design.

Here are five steps to do it efficiently:

1. Know your audience

The term of storytelling is often misunderstood and the brand managers will implement just any kind of legend just for the sake of having it. To make sure it reaches the heart of your users you first need to know who your users really are.

After you gather enough data about the target audience and market niche, you can create user personas - the fictional characters that represent the group of your potential users with similar characteristics. User personas should contain the complete profile, providing information like the occupation, age, gender, income, education, and most important goals, pain points, and possible objections.

2. Develop the plot of problem-solving

When you know who your users are and what their “pain” is, you can start developing the pathway from point A, which is the one where “pain” occurs, to point B, where your user is happy after using your product.

To make it smooth and pleasing, you need to keep in mind the initial goal of your user and think of the best moments and ways to introduce the side inquiries, that do not satisfy the need directly, but are either necessary for the product itself (for example, request to the location tracking) or are beneficial for you (in-app purchases).

3. Create a strong protagonist and a supporting role (or several)

You cannot make a plot without a character, can you? And as the user experience is what makes a plot, the main character is the user. Meanwhile, your product plays a supporting role and makes the journey more exciting.

To make the story (read user experience) smooth both the main character (user) and the supporting role (product) should be in balance. Without the focus on the main character, the user journey will be kind of scattered and feature the unnecessary elements that do not work for anybody’s benefit. At the same time, dealing with the character’s “pains” will be much more difficult without the supporting role.

4. Give your protagonist a good setting to act

To place your characters in a plot you need to take into account two dimensions of setting: time and location. You need to understand under which conditions your characters will act so that the journey they experience is fitted to them.

This implies that when you are designing your product you need to keep in mind when and where it will be used. The same way a coffee cup in an episode of Game of Thrones was striking the eyes of viewers, the inappropriate features will be ruining the smoothness of your product’s UX design.

5. Put an attractive cover on top

Last but not least, although we’ve been getting the premonition not to judge the book by its cover for ages, we are still doing it. Even when we are looking for a precise one, we may reject the piece that we find in a bookstore because the paper is not pleasing or the font is unreadable. The same goes for software products.

The small details like colors, fonts, and layout help to firstly attract users and helps again, later on, to keep them coming back. Here the user personas you created earlier come in handy.

A compelling story can shape how other people see you. Their perception of you will determine whether they’ll read your great content, comment on your blog posts, refer others to your blog or your social media channels, hire you or buy from you. 
Neil Patel


Using these principles of storytelling within your UI/UX design and development will help you speak to your audience and bond better with them because it is not only the good image that matters in design but also the content that it delivers. And to keep up the pace on UX trends, in the next article we will tell you about UX writing and microcopy as one of the main tools of strategic storytelling.

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