“Great design is storytelling at its finest.” – Jim Antonopoulos
In this day and age, design trends come and go.
While we catch up to one wave of the trend, we see there’s a new one.
However, there are some trends that just never go out of style.
One such classic design trend is visual storytelling.
When designers embrace the power of visual storytelling, they make their brand more human and bring data to life. But what does visual storytelling actually mean and what can you do to ace it?
In this blog post, we’ll answer how to incorporate visual storytelling in your design game plan to tell your epic brand story.
What is Visual Storytelling in the Context of Design?
Your customers don’t want the same ol’ bland messaging.
But when you jazz your words with engaging images, illustrations, charts, or videos, to tell your story in a way that will help captivate your audience, you give your brand story a user experience (UX) makeover.
This is visual storytelling and it helps make stories evocative, memorable, and powerful.
Here’s an example from Slack, a business communication platform, that crafted an amazing connection between design and storytelling on their homepage.
Why is Visual Storytelling Important?
As a designer, your brand’s story must align with your content strategy. So, the way you craft your visual brand story helps you convey your message more accurately.
Visual storytelling can help designers:
- describe the impact of a new product or service
- build empathy when describing a challenge or problem
- engage and connect with the audience
- humanize the process and analytical data
Let’s look at an interesting example of Qualcomm, a B2B digital communications business, that crafted its website with storytelling in mind.
They used stories to share their marketing message as well as to show how they were able to deliver the next-level technology – 5G. And they nailed it!
The 4-Step Process for Visual Storytelling
Designers are creative and visual thinkers and to harness these visualization skills accurately, here is the 4-step process you must follow for storytelling.
1. Establish a Clear Purpose
The foundation of any process starts when we know and understand the ‘why’. You should have a clear purpose, one which resonates with what’s the reason behind your creation – is it to educate your reader, influence their decision-making, or highlight a key challenge? Whatever may be your objective, when you are clear about it only then you can distill that into a crisp narrative.
2. Explore About Your Audience
Understand ‘who’ your target audience is. Your research should be targeted on your personas so that you’ll get rich insights. Next, identify which channels and formats would be best to pursue and hook your audience.
3. Express and Refine Ideas
Your team would have plenty of ideas, it’s best to refine them with positive critique and follow a structured framework until something powerful emerges. Work until your idea is relevant and aligns with your objective which would make it the best one for your team to pursue.
4. Evaluate Ideas and Seek Feedback
As with any design endeavor, successful storytelling means keeping everyone in the loop and focused on its direction throughout the process. When you keep it that way, you combine knowledge, critical thinking, and creativity in your design process to achieve better results.
5 Tips to Ace Visual Storytelling
Let’s dive into a few tips that you can keep in mind while creating a memorable story for your audience:
1. Create a Solid Structure
In each story, there is a hero, a challenge, the journey to overcome the challenge, and as we may say a, ‘happily ever after’. Make sure your designs follow this structure to build up the tension leading the story to its climax.
2. Bring Your Story’s Characters to Life
Characters are the heart and soul of any story. Use eye-catching imagery, motion graphic videos, or animated GIFs to make characters interesting and appealing. In your story, you need to create characters that are easy to identify with and are relatable, you can do this by using emotions in the design process.
3. Show. Don’t Tell
Visuals help us tell our stories quickly with impact and emotion but when in the right context be it an image, infographic, or video. Don’t make complex visuals rather use interactive, engaging, data visualization like charts or dynamic graphs to help readers comprehend and retain the information presented.
4. Capture Attention
To capture attention, use interactive content, gamification, or motion graphics to tell the story of your product, its features, benefits, walkthroughs, etc. Make it engaging and have enough whitespace to ensure the message creates a meaningful impact.
5. Focus on UX
The real beauty of great design lies in its UX. Use readable typography and be sure to make responsive designs for mobile users as well. It’s important because responsive design is a key factor in Google ranking.
Visual storytelling is a powerful means of communication and connection in the B2B industry. And whatever may be the industry, emotion is what matters, especially when it comes to making a connection with your audience and driving brand affinity.
Need help crafting an awesome story design? Talk to us!
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