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Great design has a story to tell, and that story is fundamental to the way people experience design.
What ultimately attracts people to a specific design is the emotional connection. And that emotional bond is most powerful when they can make the design their own, either by interpreting it, projecting their aspirations onto it, or seeing themselves through it.
Stories are what enable that. A powerful story reveals the essence of the design and communicates the meaning behind it. It can inspire and speak to one’s aspirations. This develops the all-important emotional bond, which ultimately leads to a deep affinity with your brand.
Stories are most powerful when they are shared directly by the design creator. It’s time for you to tell the story of your designs! Transport people to your world, and form that bond.
How to build a great story
Engaging stories have 2 building blocks:
- A narrative sequence that determines the flow of the story, where one part leads to the next as if “on a train on its way to a destination.” A great narrative builds curiosity and carries its own momentum.
- Moments of reflection are interjected by the narrator to 1) extract meaning, 2) guide the arc of the story, and 3) deepen connection.
Here are a few techniques to help you tell a powerful story:
- Start strong with a hook that immediately engages the audience. Capture their imagination from the beginning.
- Unify your story with a distinct theme. This could be derived from your inspiration, making process, provenance or mission.
- Appeal to the senses with descriptive passages. Make it visual with captivating images.
- Set the mood. Inspire, pull on emotions, uplift and humanise.
- Choose the compelling point of view. Are you speaking as a designer, maker or consumer?
- Be true to yourself. Establish trust by getting personal and using your own voice.
- Make it interactive. Invite participation and exploration.
- Make them want more. The end to your story should satisfy, but also urge them to engage with you or your work.
Founded on the belief that the stories of great design need to be told, In The Window (thewindow.com) is a social experience around the stories of inspiring objects and spaces. Through immersive storytelling and curation, In The Window enables designers, makers, architects, and brands to deeply engage a global community of design enthusiasts and professionals. In The Window’s community can discover, experience, and meaningfully interact with the content via curation, sharing, and conversations.