What’s Your Story?

Each development tells a compelling story with the declared purpose and result of enriching the narrative of the digital enterprise

Your digital solutions are fighting for intellectual shelf space to exist and to survive in your enterprise. The way to achieve both is to tell a compelling story. Such a story depicts the digital world and shows the way to El Dorado. It speaks to our intellect, by designing the path, and to our emotions, making us just want to get there. Because we’re only human, we prefer compelling stories to dry information, set questions, and formatted answers. The ability to tell a story – and even better, to listen to one – is critical to creating digital experiences that excite and delight. It is both a pedagogical and a design tool, and we have to master it. End of story.

WHY

  • Information systems have come a long way, from dispensing predefined information in bits and pieces to entertaining conversational transactions and augmenting intelligence. They have grown into an essential part of the day in the life of customers, partners, and employees alike.
  • With so many options to choose from and a plethora of distracting or confusing features, digital users are now also the producers of their own digital journeys.
  • The only way to get and keep someone’s attention is to make them part of a story, not just as readers, but also as writers or even better, as co-writers and actors; even more so when exploring unchartered, yet unsung areas such as AI, blockchain, and mixed reality.

WHAT

  • For each development to tell a digital story, its creator needs to become an artist. The writer must appeal to the creative and esthetic side of the brain while remaining an engineer to give the story the logic, rigor, and metrics of IT.
  • This is at the heart of Design Thinking, combining the notions of purpose, human-centricity, and iteration.
  • The story should not stand alone: through connections with other stories, the digital enterprise creates an anthology of its relations with the world.

HOW TO

  • From oral tradition, to the written word, and now to digital copy, telling a story is the oldest method for recording, teaching, communicating, and entertaining. You learn the craft by listening to the best ones – and, increasingly, by leveraging the rapidly growing “creative generation” and support skills of AI.
  • Think through your solution as a story with a good structure from beginning to end, from issue to resolution, from understanding to adhesion, from neutrality to support.
  • When your story pertains to relatively unknown technologies, “Show, Don’t Tell” should be your mantra.
  • Share your story early by inviting users, listeners, and actors to iteratively participate in its development.
  • Synthesize your story to its quintessence – this is the era of limited attention spans. Some of the most compelling stories are tweets.

SO WHAT

  • The Design for Digital principles are to be seen and used as a whole: the story hatches in the clouds, it stages the play of twins, draws momentum from the platform, makes listeners and players more intelligent, exudes trust, and gently hacks our customs and traditions.
  • Over time, stories become the signature of the digital enterprise, the reflection of its style, and the yardstick of its differentiation. Consider the story unfolding before you in these white little boxes … how does it move you?
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