Review: Storytelling for User Experience

To change my mind and also because I'm curious about all things related to ergonomics and user experience, I decided to investigate a little more seriously the field of UX which is quite trendy nowadays.

This is how I came to read the book Storytelling for User Experience by Whitney Quesenbery et Kevin Brooks about which I will make a brief review here (and which I came across in a mysterious way, maybe via an O'Reilly promotion).

I find the book well written and informational with some lengthiness though that are certainly due to the fact that I'm not exactly part of the targeted audience and also to quite a lot of redundancies from chapter to chapter (maybe on purpose, in order to make sure that some ideas remains on the reader's mind).

Actually the most interesting feature of this book is that the author committed to eating their own dog food by illustrating each of their ideas with a story and also by making sure that the book is easily "browse-able" with a clear structure and concise summaries at the end of each chapters allowing a reader to jump over the ones that he's not interested in.

On the idea front, I appreciated the following statements, which are not really new but on which the author rightfully insist IMHO:

  • the importance of listening people from which we want to collect stories and show them that we are listening
  • the necessity of building a clear context for a story to reduce the misunderstanding that are due to the fact that everybody "hears" a same story differently
  • the interest of "stories" on design and evaluation of a design
Last but not least, this book also gives a lot of concrete advises on how to (actively!) listen to "stories" and how to structure the story you want to tel, and as said before it is loaded with examples.

Still, it's a bit expensive for somebody who's just curious about the subject (and I do hope that I bought it at a nice promo :) ).