The User’s Journey by Donna Lichaw – Part 1

Introduction

Start with three simple questions:

  • What’s the story?
  • Who is the hero?
  • What’s the hero’s goal?

Chapter 1: Mapping the Story

  • People experience products
  • If you want to engage your customers, your product must have a story at its foundation
  • “Storymapping is just what it sounds like: mapping out an intended experience of use for a product, plot point by plot point.”
  • Make things go BOOM!
  • When experiences are based on a story, people are more likely to
    • Remember the experience.
    • See value in what was experienced.
    • See utility in what they did during that experience.
    • Have an easier time doing whatever they were trying to accomplish.
    • Want to repeat that experience.
  • Stories drive engagement

Chapter 2: How Story Works

  • Every story needs three things: characters, goals, and conflict
  • Elements of a story
    • Exposition
      • Introduces characters and their world
    • Inciting incident or problem
      • Something changes or goes dramatically wrong
      • A call to action for the hero
      • First hook or trigger point
    • Rising action
      • Story escalates and creates new tensions and conflicts
      • Anticipation and excitement builds
      • Conflict keeps engagement up and makes endings feel well earned
    • Crisis
      • Culmination point of maximum crisis
      • The hero has to succeed or be defeated trying
    • Climax or resolution
      • Most important part of the story!
      • All tension built up earlier cumulates
    • Falling action or denouement
      • Conflict is resolved and the story wraps up
      • Falling action provides closure
      • Should happen as quickly as possible because humans are impatient
    • End
      • Character should meet their goal and be changed
      • The end can lead to a new story/sequel
  • Stories can be used to prototype and test hypotheses
  • “Your brain seeks out a story in the data it consumes. And that story has a structure to it, whether you realize it or not. This behavior is so natural that you probably don’t even notice that you do it.”
  • Products need to make the customer the hero to be loved