Title: Story-centered design: hacking your brain to think like a user
Context: Fix your design process. Or, stop designing screens and start designing stories.
Synopsis: As a user experience designer you probably think about everything in discrete chunks of interactivity (1. I realize I’m thirsty. 2. I decide to have coffee. 3. I want a double espresso. 4. I fire up the coffee machine…You get the picture). When you analyze a problem in this way you are able to understand the “story” that drives the interaction (Boy gets thirsty. Boy drinks coffee. Boy slakes thirst. Boy lives happily ever after.) Yet when we start designing an application, that very often requires complex patterns of interactivity, we do not always use the very effective “storytelling” tool to understand these problems. Instead we fall back on the relative simplicity of screen design (Here’s a login screen! Here’s a help screen! Here’s a search screen!) rather than the underlying motivation that will drive our user to interact with – and indeed need or want to interact with – our product. When you think about it, the most compelling things in our lives are either the product of, or source of, great stories, not a mere string of interrelated imagery.
Best Bit: “A product is not a set of screens – it’s the stories those screens enable.”

via designstaff.org