What storytelling means to us.

What does storytelling mean? As a designer, I’ve heard this buzzword for quite some time. But how do you put storytelling into action?

Storytelling in Product Design
Storytelling in Product Design

Stories in product design. Are we crazy?

You’ve no doubt heard people talk about user flow. Storytelling and user flow are very closely related. I’m no literary mastermind but do understand that every good story, book or film involves:

This was my first Awwwards conference and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about attending.

Image for post
Image for post
This years conference was in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam

A fair amount of the winning (Site of the day etc.) work submitted for the Awwwards jury scrutiny can be experimental and be for brands who are willing to sacrifice a little conversion to the benefit of their story, sometimes going against the norms of accessibility and usability.

As much as I love experimental patterns, editorial layouts, WebGL, so and so forth, I primarily create designs and experiences for clients who are mainly concerned with two things, conversion and lifetime value.

Most, if not all eCommerce websites have product category pages. Pages where websites list all products or category products for the user to browse through, sometimes filter and eventually choose the product they want to know more about.

In this article, I run through a few eCommerce websites, some following the usual design patterns while others try something a little different from the status quo and at times, target a smaller demographic. I will run through each of these examples and you through the pros and cons of each.

Image for post
Image for post
In choosing the eCommerce websites I have tried to stay away from the more known larger brands.


Experimental layouts are not for every brand, but as new businesses…

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit

Designing for immediacy

Sharing and showing live content is snowballing. Technology and location barriers are gone. Slowly but surely cities are being re-shaped to give better telephone and wifi signal. Social media is pushing brands and retail owners to make their product irresistible to consumers. Share it and share it now.

This immediacy is also carrying over into other channels

Gone are the days of users waiting days for deliveries or waiting more than a few seconds to load your service onto their digital device.

If you’re involved in digital product design, this book is a must read.

You’ll read this. Then you’ll hope your competition isn’t reading this. It’s that good. Stephen Anderson — Author of Seductive Interaction Design

I have read other books that tackle the same issues but this book does it very well.

Image for post
Image for post

Dipping into the psychology of users, Hooked shows us how companies have tackled the same issues UXers come across every day.

Whilst reading Hooked I found it so easy to see how I could put in place or use the techniques described. …

From part one you now have the smallest amount of research complete and shared. You and the attendees are ready to roll with part two.

Desired outcomes

We have gathered to discuss the users experience (UX).

The outcome of this short session (7 hours) is to walk away with as much information as possible. So the team can start to add meat to the bones. …

Some of the world’s top creative thinkers and doers. Offering pragmatic, real-world insights that transcend creative sectors.

Provided by Adobe, last years 99u was brilliant and this years was no exception. Aiming to inspire creatives, bringing their ideas to life and shaping the future of the industry.

Image for post
Image for post
Lincoln Centre — Alice Tulley Hall

Lasting two days, with 1,000 attendees across a variety of practices and professions hailing from locations worldwide. The conference revolved around Alice Tully Hall for the 13 main stage speakers. Including two workshops provided by some of New Yorks best studios and creatives.

The two days of main stage speakers were divided up by four questions and asked to present on them.

As part of the 99u experience, every attendee has the opportunity to attend two workshops — my second was with Dropbox New York.

Who are Dropbox?

Dropbox was originally founded in 2007, by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Dropbox started life with initial funds from seed accelerator Y Combinator and began it’s journey as a digital storage platform. Today with offices worldwide and a blossoming portfolio of products, Dropbox has grown into much more than the documents folder that appeared on every single one of your desktops.

Image for post
Image for post
Dropbox Paper and Dropbox Smart Sync - Image Credit

Transparent Teams: Driving Alignment Through an Open Creative Process

One of the most important steps in the creative process is feedback or crit. The earlier…

As part of the 99u experience every attendee has the opportunity to attend two workshops — my first was with ustwo New York.

Who are ustwo?

Started by two friends in the UK, 13 years have gone by and they now have four offices across the globe - London, Malmo, New York and Sydney. Most recognised for their iOS game Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 they have divided their product studio into three.

Image for post
Image for post
Monument Valley 2 — Part 2 of the award winning game by ustwo — Image Credit

I usually get the client for one maybe two full days.

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit

A discovery session or design sprint is just one stage of many in the process of creating a great product.

A discovery session can easily take up to a full working week once you dive into build, test and improve — Agile and Lean methodology. If every client was willing to give up a whole week, my life would be easier.

Alas, clients are rarely willing to give up a whole week. Some clients just can’t see the potential of the outcomes. So what do you do?

With these two articles I hope to shed some light on the process…

Warren Challenger

Digital Designer • 👓 ⛩ 🌴

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store