Design as a means of storytelling
You, as a designer, need to be aware that the plot on which the content is based later appears before any other components of the site. Content can not be simply “reset” on the already formed site design. In this matter, a clear sequence should be followed: the plot, the content, and only then the design. The process of forming the plot of your site involves the participation of two main components – the person and the story. Persons. Any experienced designer will tell you that the most important piece of information needed to create a site design is its target audience. Based on it, the style of the web resource is determined, how it is built, and what content (both text and graphic) it should include. Even the choice of color scheme depends on it. As soon as you become the owner of such information, obtained either by studying the demand or proceeding from the main goal pursued by the site, which involves addressing a specific audience, you can address the issue of its implementation in the design of your site.
Despite the fact that content, as a rule, is a fundamental factor, on the basis of which the target audience is determined (for example, a commercial website selling toys for children is aimed at parents), there are always exceptions to the rules. Anyway, it is necessary to approach this issue with full responsibility, because it gives you an idea of the basis of your plot, i.e. what exactly it should convey to the user. Ideally, the target audience has its own preferences and personality, which forms the person of your site user. Next on the scene is the persona of the site, which is actually a fictional person representing your site (not the audience) in all its manifestations: style, appearance, ideas expressed by him, his age – everything that symbolizes various aspects of your site. All these properties, put together, form an individuality, that is, the person who characterizes the site and allows you to form a clear picture regarding the framework of its behavior, the inherent elements of the external design and its inherent content.
The importance of this point in web design is very difficult to overestimate, since its understanding prevents the designer from the temptation to focus on any particular component of the site, which entails the creation of an inconsistent and weakly expressed resource. The developer, from the very beginning having a general picture of the site, built on the most conceptual level, will create a much better final product. To create a site person, you will need the following: A comprehensive view of your Target Audience. As mentioned above, the user’s persona can be useful in forming the website’s persona, however it should not be its mirror image, but only maintain a close connection with it, otherwise your website will be too narrowly focused. Mention of key figures in your organization (if any).
This can be useful if the identity of your brand is based on people from your organization and in this case the person of the site may reflect some of their inherent elements. Just as Apple did with Steve Jobs or on the game development company website mojang.com, which uses its leading name “Minecraft” in the header of the site and in all other visible places. Promotional content. This element is involved in the emergence and subsequent formation of the behavioral capabilities of the user of your site and is partially influenced by the person of the site, but at the same time, being an integral part, it in turn influences it. This kind of content forms the idea of the orientation of the site, its person and therefore plays an important role in this matter. I will return to this topic later in the article, but at this stage it was still worth mentioning the relationship of such content with persons. Any other relevant content / documentation.
The meaning of this recommendation may seem too vague. But it is necessary to understand that, due to the diversity of sites, any aspect or content associated with a particular site can be very useful in creating its persona and using insignificant and hardly noticeable things even at first glance can lead to quite noticeable differences in the external interface of a web resource. Narration. The narration of your site is the essence of the plot and covers all the content used on it. It is a process of communication with the user through the video on your site, used as the background of the image, the contents of the “About Us” page, in essence, with the help of all your content, which in a complex provides the user with a full-scale level of its capabilities, within which the narration is kept. The narration can be easily confused with the design of a thematic site. However, there is some difference between the two, since themes focus mainly on design, while…
However, there is some difference between the two, since the themes focus mainly on design, while the narrative focuses on all the aspects involved, and especially on the content. The importance of narration lies in the fact that it establishes the sequence of actions defined by the site, fills them with meaning and determines how the user interacts with the site through these actions. It passes through all of its components, starting from the navigation panel and ending with the closing architectural components such as the information window about the successful completion of the transaction. The best narration is obtained by its natural formation on the basis of already partially existing content, which sets the direction for its subsequent development, as opposed to creating a story from scratch with the further formation of content around it artificially. If in a nutshell, the story – a journey that a visitor to your site is experiencing moving through its expanses, and therefore you should make every effort to make this journey fascinating.
The narration of your site performs the same role as the narration of the work of art, the novel, which closely connects all the characters involved in it and the events taking place. In the same way as mentioned above “about the reference to key figures of the organization” when discussing persons, the inclusion in the process of narration of moments related to the history or personalities of your company can make it brighter and richer. This will provide an opportunity to highlight the strengths and weaknesses, anything that will allow you to create points of contact with the user and make him interested in your site. If the plot of the site is really interesting and there is a blog on it, users will be interested in its updates, look for time to visit it again, and finally take a direct part in it. This becomes more obvious if your site provides a forum through which users will directly contribute to the development of your resource. Very often, the method of narrative presentation is used within the framework of the pass-through page, which is usually a jubilant, welcoming prelude to the main event – the entrance to your site. In most cases, it does not tell the visitor any story, but only prevents it. This page simply violates the structure of the site itself, providing a facade that probably does not reflect the true focus of the content posted on the site. The narration can actually be very useful if it is conducted in the following context (focusing specifically on navigation): According to the plot of the site with such a navigation bar, you first become familiar with the advantages and capabilities of the product represented on it. Then you download it to your computer and try it in action, as a result you like it and as a result, you decide to purchase it. Everything is fine. After purchasing the product you may need technical support for any reason. This may be a failure or simply a need for consultation on use.
And in the end we have the opportunity to contact representatives of the manufacturer’s company, for example, with some business offers or simply as a client. However, the natural subtext of the navigation bar with such a design, unfortunately for the site, is that since the “SUPPORT” link should immediately follow “BUY”, something terrible will happen and our last hope after an unsuccessful call to the technical support service Support will be a direct contact with representatives of the manufacturer of the product, which can be accessed after activating the link “CONTACTS”. (The reason why support has failed is likely not only because it has a bad reputation in various industries, but also because in this case it is a participant in the following scenario: “if the support is implemented at an appropriate level, then why should we contact someone else? ”) It may seem that the web designer’s craft is too far from such psychoanalytic reflections and conclusions, however, if the plot you create is based on the main navigation system, then you must be careful Think carefully about the course of user actions while moving through each page of the site. Building an incorrect navigation sequence is similar to killing an actor in a book before the reader is acquainted with him – such a development does not make any sense in the narration. Another true way of understanding the linking of the layout with your narration and storyline is the visualization of a newspaper or comic book. As for a comic book magazine or a novel in a comic book, here the artist always has the task of correctly positioning the drawings, since it’s very important for him that the reader’s view move from one picture to the next one, determined by the order…