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Athena Herrmann
Athena Herrmann

Executive Vice President

7 Tips to Help Designers Stick to the Story

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are how we make connections with others and help us make abstract concepts more palpable.

Because design provides a sensory way to absorb information and appeals to our dominant visual senses, it is the perfect vehicle for telling a story.Content is weaved together with typography, imagery and interaction to formulate something that the audience can easily digest, use, and ultimately… relate to. Using design every user experience can be infused with a strong concept that brings extra meaning to it.

There are a few things I do throughout the design process that help to keep my story in check. This prevents me from falling into the trap of just “making things look good.”

  1. Ask questions to establish parameters. Who are you designing for? What are your end goals? What kind of message do you want to convey? What is the appropriate tone for achieving the desired feelings in your users? What mediums are you working with?
  2. Think big. Now that you understand the project, forget about the boundaries and restrictions of conventional design. You have the power to make anything work - what would you do? No matter how crazy your ideas are – they can be reined in later.
  3. Remember your end users. While you’re brainstorming, think about how these ideas will appeal to your users emotionally and why they would care.
  4. Summarize concepts with a single word. This will help strip your ideas down to the core and help distinguish a strong concept from a method of execution.
  5. Write it all down – then share it. The silliest idea could lead to a great one. Share and discuss your ideas with others because they can help develop them by providing different perspectives.
  6. Narrow the choices. Choose your strongest concepts and sketch out how these could be executed and what elements would make it a strong concept. How can you optimize your medium to strengthen them?
  7. Remember where you started. Throughout the design process, keep going back to the concept and check if you’ve been staying true to it and carrying it out through all components of your work.

It can be easier to simply skin a wireframe, but while beautiful visuals may capture the audience’s attention for a few seconds, a story that melds together content with visuals will captivate.

Athena Herrmann
Athena Herrmann

Executive Vice President

Athena believes that function and beauty are not mutually exclusive. A principled and creative leader whose biggest passion is finding solutions to client problems, Athena strives to build teams that intelligently integrate UX processes and best practices with product development. Her long and winding journey from the United States to Canada has given her a unique combination of strategic design skills and broad industry experience.

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