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They say everyone has a story to tell, but some might wonder how to do that with a website. The days of endless scrolling of content filled pages are diminishing, leaving you now with something you are more familiar with…a story. Much like how we all expect to see a message at the end of a book, we expect to find a purpose at the end of a site through a storytelling experience.
- an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.
- an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something.
Stories are beneficial because they help us captivate, direct, communicate and collect information. They also guide us to develop a connection with others. Stories helps us produce cognitive maps, conceptual simulations and narratives. Just like an author focuses on connecting with their readers, clients strive for ways to connect their website with their users.
Things to Consider When Telling Your Story in Your Site
To develop a website story, you want answers to the questions you would have for any site. Who is your audience? What is the goal of your website? Is your message clear? A good story holds interest and keeps the audience wanting more. This is what we focus on in creating a website. It’s not only the content that depicts the message, its the impactful imagery and interactivity that are the elements that deliver a beginning, middle and an end. Let’s break these down.
When designing a website, you want to integrate impactful imagery into the design. Users digest visual information because it’s easier to process and retain than a page full of only text. You want to engage your audience and make their visit to your site as appealing and convenient as possible. Choose your images carefully in order to communicate your message and tell the story. Imagery and designed visuals can take on any role that you want them to and add depth to your site. When designing or choosing them, keep in mind that the goal is to guide your users through the story into a deeper understanding of your company, product, or service.
Content is a very critical piece of the storytelling because you want a unique way of being informative but not boring or repetitive. The goal of the content is to get people to interact. Whether it is to sign up, purchase an item, or make contact, you are giving yourself the opportunity to stand out, emphasize your brand and connect with your audience on an emotional level. The text and imagery go hand in hand in story telling. In that first visit to the site, you want to make a connection and a strong impression on your audience. This doesn’t mean you have to completely cut out large pieces of your story to speed to the end. Focus on displaying content-orientation indicators so that users are able to construct the story for themselves through the titles, navigation items, call out text and links.
Interactivity in your website is the tool that creatively guides your audience through the site to their goals. It can turn the user into the narrator of your story making it more likely they’ll respond to the call to action. The interaction advises users to navigate from page to page like in a book, reading chapter to chapter. Site interaction is not only about engaging with your users but it presents a better understanding of your content.
Keep these ideas in mind when starting your next project. What is your story and how do you want to tell it?
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