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We’re All Suckers for a Good Story

From the time we were kids huddled around the campfire to our current obsession with the latest binge-worthy series, humans love stories. Turns out, this ancient quirk of our brains is the secret to making websites and apps that people actually connect with.

Not Just Users, But Characters

The key to good UX storytelling? User personas. No, not some techie jargon… think of them as the characters in your design story. Each persona needs a backstory, goals they’re trying to reach, and those little frustrations that make them feel understood. It’s the difference between designing for a nameless user and designing for your friend Jenny who’s always struggling to find cool things to do on the weekend.

Be careful though, too many people treat persona creation like a checklist instead of a tool for understanding users. Without asking tough questions about what data is important and how to best use it, we get sidetracked by unimportant details. The problem isn’t with the idea of personas, it’s about needing to use them with a critical eye.

Your User’s Epic Journey

Every time someone uses your app or website, they’re on a little quest. Maybe they’re searching for the perfect pair of sneakers, booking their dream vacation, or trying to troubleshoot that weird Wi-Fi outage. Your design is the adventure map! Instead of boring menus and instructions, treat each step like a chapter in a choose-your-own-adventure book.

Your Brand: The Story Users Live

Okay, here’s where it gets deep. Your brand isn’t what your logo looks like… it’s the story users tell themselves about who you are and what you stand for. Are you the helpful sidekick? The quirky best friend? The wise mentor? Weave that story into every part of the experience, and suddenly people aren’t just customers; they’re part of the tribe.

The Power of Feeling Understood

Storytelling in UX design isn’t about being fancy; it’s about making people feel seen. It’s about:

  • Making things easy: Cut through confusing jargon with a story-like flow.
  • Building trust: We instinctively trust people whose stories ring true.
  • Making it memorable: Ditch the forgettable, design something worth talking about.

Next time you’re designing, remember that you’re not just building an interface — you’re writing a story. Make it one that people want to be a part of!

Further Reading and Resources


Online Courses

Blogs and Websites


  • “The Narrative Breakdown”
  • “The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love” by Donna Lichaw

Feel free to share your storytelling experiences in UX design with me on X: @ArtofNor. I’d love to hear your thoughts!