Stories don’t always have to be told in a Once Upon a Time… format. Take a look at movies, for instance. Some stories are told in chronological order while others jump around a timeline. There are stories told from the perspective of the protagonist while others let viewers see the story from everyone’s point of view. Plus, stories can be sad, funny, dramatic or all of the above.
There’s a ton of variation in how a story can be told. There is one thing they all need to have in common though:
They need to somehow draw the reader into the narrative.
Storytelling is a very powerful tool for websites, but the same rules apply. It doesn’t matter how you tell the story — it just needs to draw the visitor in.
Today, I’m going to walk you through various storytelling techniques and give you some ideas for how you can design these kinds of narratives into your own mobile websites or PWAs.
How To Design Powerful Narratives On Mobile
Storytelling is a great tool for mobile websites.
One reason for that is because the smaller screen forces you to be more concise with the narrative. That means you can get visitors more quickly to the climax of your story, which will speed up their time to conversion.
Another reason why storytelling works so well on mobile is because it’s easier to suck visitors into the story. All you need to do is give your site a book-like feel and they’ll become quickly immersed in it.
What’s more, you can really let the visuals do most of the talking and cut down on the lengthy stories that company founders would otherwise want to tell about their companies.
There’s one industry, in particular, that I think does an exceptional job of storytelling in this manner, and that’s the beer and alcohol industry. If you think about it, these kinds of companies can’t afford to simply push their products in consumers’ faces. Here are some reasons why:
- “Let’s get you intoxicated” isn’t a very strong or unique selling point. But a story that draws the customer in and makes them part of the narrative can be.
- To prevent the analysis paralysis that comes with choosing one kind of liquor or beer from dozens of similar options, brands use stories to differentiate themselves.
- You can more effectively build long-term and loyal relationships with customers by turning your products into one-of-a-kind experiences.
Bottom line: When building sites for products or services in highly competitive spaces, storytelling can be a real game changer. As far as how you accomplish that through design, let’s look at some of the more common storytelling techniques and examples that show how they’re pulled off.
This article first appeared in www.smashingmagazine.com
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