Friday, March 30, 2012

What makes a strong narrative for design?

Source: imdb.com
A great story is based on a profound yet simple question. Can I sum up the story in a short question?

I’m a movie buff and what moves me is usually a story based on a very simple premise. Midnight in Paris is a case in point. Long after the movie was over, I was still relishing the scenes and characters that Woody Allen put together so ingenuously. Gil, Inez, Gabrielle. Why? Because Woody Allen — who claims to write for the Everyday Man — captured an idea that rings true in many people’s lives. We think if we only had the chance to live in some nostalgic past, we will be happier. The golden age of our predecessors fascinates us. Yet, when we get there, we find that the people who dwelt in those times think that their lives aren’t as great as we thought it was going to be. They long for another distant past themselves. What a twist! So, the film asks, "How will you live your life joyfully and contentedly despite life’s muddles?" Will you settle for contentment or find your joy somewhere out there? 

What is the narrative in your design? What tale can you creatively spin that will ensnare your user to learn, to think, and to retain the experience? How will you do it?

Make your story simple and focused.  Can you summarize your design or the learners’ or consumers’ needs with a simple question? That is it.

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