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Good design tells story

 

I stepped into the flow of interactive design for the reason of enriching my ways of multimedia story telling.

Chris Crawford, the author of The Art of Interactive Design, mentioned that interactivity is superior to all other forms of human expression in one way. He also claimed that interactive design engages the human mind more powerfully than another form of expression. When we truly interact with someone or something, we are truly engaged. I personally confirmed this by asking my friends who have been to MOMA that what was the most impressive exhibition to them. Most of them responded with “Talk to Me”, an exhibition of interactive projects. Among all the projects, according to my friends, those based on stories were more memorable.

Although interactive media is a better way of story telling, the story itself is more important. For example, the Oscar winning “The Artist” is just a black-and-white silence movie without many advanced techniques utilized. It is the plot that seized audience’s heart. Therefore, techniques, no matter how fancy they are, should always serve the story instead of being the gimmick of box-office. The recently popular movie in theatres, “Life of Pi” directed by Ang Lee, is a good example that hi-techs such as breath taking 3D screening supported the story telling.

As we grow up, the store tellers could be changed from our moms to anyone else, but the story remain unchanged. Since all arts forms carry stories, such as song, pint, opera, movies etc., what we learn and enjoy from the media is stories. Even if we now have a better technology, I keep asking myself why to make a project, what do I want share with others.

Thinking over and over again, I find the main concept of communication is empathy.

“Empathy” is the best friend of communication. Only if we share with the real concern about our audiences can we get better communication effect. That is to say, we need a good story to tell.

What is changing now is only a method, what is not changing is human’s need for communication.

3 comments to Good design tells story

  • Azure Q

    I stepped into the flow of interactive design for the reason of enriching my ways of multimedia story telling.

    Chris Crawford, the author of The Art of Interactive Design, mentioned that interactivity is superior to all other forms of human expression in one way. He also claimed that interactive design engages the human mind more powerfully than another form of expression. When we truly interact with someone or something, we are truly engaged. I personally confirmed this by asking my friends who have been to MOMA that what was the most impressive exhibition to them. Most of them responded with “Talk to Me”, an exhibition of interactive projects. Among all the projects, according to my friends, those based on stories were more memorable.

    Although interactive media is a better way of story telling, the story itself is more important. For example, the Oscar winning “The Artist” is just a black-and-white silence movie without many advanced techniques utilized. It is the plot that seized audience’s heart. Therefore, techniques, no matter how fancy they are, should always serve the story instead of being the gimmick of box-office. The recently popular movie in theatres, “Life of Pi” directed by Ang Lee, is a good example that hi-techs such as breath taking 3D screening supported the story telling.

    As we grow up, the store tellers could be changed from our moms to anyone else, but the story remain unchanged. Since all arts forms carry stories, such as song, pint, opera, movies etc., what we learn and enjoy from the media is stories. Even if we now have a better technology, I keep asking myself why to make a project, what do I want share with others.

    Thinking over and over again, I find the main concept of communication is empathy.

    “Empathy” is the best friend of communication. Only if we share with the real concern about our audiences can we get better communication effect. That is to say, we need a good story to tell.

    What is changing now is only a method, what is not changing is human’s need for communication.

  • Harry (Chiu-Hao) Chen

    I found that the good storyteller is also a good story listener. Because when you are listening other’s story you will be trained to recognize which story is good and which is hard to understand. And you can also be trained thinking a logical way, all of these are good for you as a good storyteller.

    However, we usually do our design individually, and focus on only based on the self inner world. This is quite harmful for a good storyteller. We should try to be more connected with the beautiful world and he crowd. If you can learn from something from someone’s experience, you may broaden your mind easily and make more chance to tell a touching story.

    From now on, you can try to share with people about your own stories, through constant practice and listen, you can mention these things from your heart, you can even let you design itself say it’s own story. At the same time you can learn how to observe people’s reaction, this is also a good training process to be a successful storyteller.

    Here’s a TED talk by Yves Behar about “Designing objects that tell stories”. I hope you will gain something from this talk.

  • Peiqi "Su"

    People love stories. I learned this from my 3 months experiences in ITP. Story is a nature way in which our brain try to understand and remember the complicated world.
    As far as I see, the difference between stories and other pieces of information is that stories envolve emotions. From this point, a successful interaction design is not just three-dimensional: the structure, function and time; it also involves emotion. This remind me my industrial practice in last two years. From 2010, my sophomore year, I worked as a User Experience Designer in both big company and startup, participating in projects on PC, TV and Mobile platform. One thing that used to puzzle me was what users said “Yeah; it’s efficient, but boring” when trying a demo conducted by me. I always tried to keep the interaction simple, direct and fast. However, gradually, I understood that it is essential to cater for users’ not only functional but also emotional needs by the so-called User-Centered Design. Sometimes a little tricky step or some irrelevant elements may be needed in the process of interaction, because these things could conduct a story and call uses’s emotions. To my delight, when I changed our product a little in this way, we got the positive feedback.