How to Use Your Website Design To Tell A Story

November 20, 2013 Web Design

Some of the most loved websites can effectively convey their brand promise and tell convey information about who they are. This gets users interested to know more and ensures that the brand’s message is passed on in an impactful way. How do they do this? By an age-told technique called storytelling. These stories are a little different from the ones we all heard when we were growing up. There is no wicked witch, generous woodcutter, sleeping princess or hungry wolf. But these stories stuck in our minds long after we grew up. That’s the kind of impact it had on us. While digital stories may be a bit different, the impact that lasts with users forever is a must to emulate.

How Do Websites Tell Stories?

This doesn’t mean that you begin your landing page with the words ‘Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…..’ Telling a story on the web actually refers to guiding a user from point A to B on your website in the most engaging manner. It also refers to improving the usability of your website by making your design intuitive. A user’s journey between point A and B must be quick, effortless and worth their time. So in essence, your website is telling a great story if it is making people want to browse through it.

Here are some ways to tell a story with your website design:

1. Tell A Story That Matches The Website Purpose

Conceptualisation is the very first step towards telling a great story. Identify the kind of story you want to tell – does it involve your brand, does it tell about your products and services, is it about how relevant and useful your services are in making the lives of your users more meaningful? Put your finger on the kind of story you would like to tell users first, and then proceed to create a relevant story around it.

2. Develop Content for your Story

When you have identified the story you want to share with your users, the creation of content is the next step. Traditional website designs may require your content to be more straight-forward, but you need to think out-of-the-box if your motive is to tell a story. You can do this in many ways. Some websites make a tall claim and then ask users to click to know more about how that claim has been made. Another great way to do this is navigation. A site’s content that can be accessed both vertically and horizontally works well towards ensuring that it reads more like a story than just like a product catalogue.

3. Stress on Great Visuals

Another couple of elements that truly tie your story in with your website are typefaces, colours and images. With colour psychology, you can get great cues about what colours exude what emotions in users. For instance, use red to signify passion, raw energy, or excitement or green if you website is related to environmental conservation.

Typefaces are another design nail that one needs to hit on the head. Typefaces too are known to exude different vibes from consumers. For instance, a font like Serif will be a good choice if you are telling a satirical story or a story that wants to exude humour. An instructional website should use Arial font and an informal, casual website works best when worked on in Sans Serif.

The right kind of imagery can also go a long way in telling your story well. Try to stay away from anything too over-the-top, in-your-face and garish. Stick to minimalistic imagery that is tasteful and has a single-point of focus.

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