May 25, 2022

UX Storytelling: Getting your audience's buy-in, building trust, and setting expectations

UX Storytelling: Getting your audience's buy-in, building trust, and setting expectations

UX Storytelling: Getting your audience's buy-in, building trust, and setting expectations

Credit: Freepik

Storytelling in Design: What is Storytelling in Design?

UX Storytelling is a way of informing the audience (stakeholders, clients, users, etc.) about your product or service. The story helps your audience understand the journey of your product from start to end. It is a skill that UX designers are encouraged to master to get your audience’s buy-in, build trust, and set expectations.

In this blog, our mentor, Bob Ricca - the Director of Product Design at ThreatQuotient, shares tips on how you can improve your skills in UX Storytelling 🍿.

Storytelling in Design: Why do we use UX Storytelling?

“Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.” 
  • Mnemonic devices for facts
  • Engage our emotions
  • More relatable and believable 
  • People tend to put themselves as the protagonist

Storytelling in Design: UX Storytelling presents the story of our Product Vision

  • It informs the audience of the goal and the importance of your product
  • It supports the effectiveness of cross-department coordination
  • It highlights where we spend and invest our money
  • It increases employee engagement, confidence, and morale

Storytelling in Design: When UX Storytelling Helps in Getting A Buy-in and Building Trust

Credit: Freepik
  • Demo-ing a new project
  • Pitching a new idea
  • Asking for a promotion
  • Becoming a part of leadership
  • Forming a design team
  • Expanding your team
  • Interviewing for a new role

Storytelling in design: How to implement UX Storytelling?

Story Arc #1: Building trust in your ability to deliver

  • Inform the audience about your product (This is where we were)
  • Lessons that you’ve learned (This is what we learned)
  • Share the problem-solving and decision-making processes (This is how we improved)
  • When you share your journey with your audience, it builds audience trust in your product and you as the presenter and designer of the product
    For example :  it shows your effort to improve the user experience

Story Arc #2: Setting Expectations and Getting Buy in

  • Provides the audience with the product journey map (This is where we are)
  • Share the product goals (This is where we want to be)
  • Present your strategy (This is how we get there). The basic elements of a plan include: What are we doing? Who is doing it? When are we going to be done?

Storytelling in Design: 3 Tips for a Better UX Storytelling

  1. Don’t shy away from simple examples

Bob thinks it’s okay to:

  • Revisit old designs that you are not happy with
  • Stage photos to represent a situation that happened
  • Not be penalized for bad practices by your current team
  1. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story

Bob recommends using:

  • Short customer clips to illustrate a point (under 30 seconds)
  • Animated gifs of interfaces
  • Customer testimonials
  1. Keep a project journal
  • Create a template of testing processes and key findings
  • Document design revisions

The different timings that you could document a project:

  • As it’s happening
  • After it’s completed
  • Months later, after you have moved on and likely forgotten
  1. Bonus tips: Create a video of yourself
  • Explain where you were in a project before shelving it
  • Stop your future self from exploring the same path twice
  • Get feedback on an interface without explaining it a thousand times

Read Storytelling In Design - Top Trends For 2022 and Product Storytelling: How to Grab the User's Attention

Want to present your story to a mentor before your actual presentation and get professional feedback? Book a 1:1 free mentoring session!

Bob Ricca (ADPList Mentor) 
Director of Product Design at ThreatQuotient
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Editor and Writer:
Farah Radzi
Content Marketer and Writer at ADPList
LinkedIn account: