Brands like Nike, Airbnb and Apple have not only acquired customers but also amassed a fan-following by tapping into the power of storytelling. However, digital storytelling is not just about the words or pictures used - it goes beyond. An integral part of digital storytelling is the use of web design. If your web design does not tell your story, your customer will not engage with you beyond their own needs. Using web design as a tool for storytelling holds attention and creates brand loyalty by leaving a lasting impression. Every element of your web design comes together to communicate your message. It engages your customer in your story, brings them back and in certain cases, makes your customer your biggest ambassador. So how do we develop web design that uses the art of storytelling? Read on to find out how different parts of storytelling can be applied to your web design!
Align the Words, Visuals and Design
One of the main responsibilities of a web designer is to connect the visuals, content and design to reflect the brand story. It sets the tone for the website. Visual elements is the first thing viewers notice and it is integral in creating the imagery for your storytelling. The copy and content further this imagery and it is complete when the design leverages these elements for storytelling. Therefore, it is important to strategically connect all three to reinforce the brand personality and create a narrative for the viewers. If there is a discrepancy in any of these three parts, it can break the flow of the storytelling and consequently, put off the viewer. Also, the visuals and the content need to be relevant to the brand. If it is not relevant, it will impede the process of association formation. Your viewer may not remember your brand with the values you want them to associate it with. Placing the visual content to correspond with the textual content within the design is key.
Develop a Brand Personality
A brand personality is important to create empathy. A viewer can find themselves relating to a brand only if the brand has a personality and the more they connect, the higher the chances of their engagement. The reflection of this brand personality is important for your storytelling. So if your brand does not have a personality, create one by choosing values that align with the brand. Take time to create this as this will help reflect the core values of your brand in all aspects and help connect with your audience. Once you have a brand personality in place, you can weave it into the digital storytelling and create a story around it. It is important to make sure that the tone and voice match this personality as well. Apply this personality in all elements of your design and content. Remember, it is easier for people to connect with human-like elements and no good storytelling is complete without a good personality.
Divide your design into storytelling segments
Every story can be easily divided into three segments - the beginning, middle and the end. These sections are further divided to create a concrete structure. The beginning consists of the introduction and the inciting incident. The middle consists of the rising action and the climax of the tale. Finally, the end consists of falling action and the conclusion.
This basic structure can be applied to your web design as well. The homepage of your website is your introduction. If your introduction is captivating, your viewers will be engaged. This is a very crucial part of your design because your homepage is what determines if the viewer wants to know more of the story you are telling. Following this is the rising action- the elements of your brand story. The story of how the business came into being or the problem you are resolving are plugged in to get the viewer more interested in what you have to offer. The interplay of content, visuals, animations and flow of story is important but especially more so in the beginning of your story. These elements will interest the visitor to find out more about the climax.
The rising action would consist of how you went about to tackle the problem presented beforehand. Here, the development story of the product/service can come through. The purpose of this part is to keep the visitor’s interest continued and carry it to the climax. The climax of your story is presenting your product/service and the unique points that resolve the original problem. This is the part of the big reveal, what your viewers have been waiting to know. Here the content needs to be carefully crafted and presented to highlight the key points in a manner that satisfies the viewer and invests them further.
The end part of your storytelling is where your call-to-action comes in. The viewer has to be guided towards the outcome you want - whether it is buying your product or contacting for further details. After your climax, this is where your story needs to lead the viewer so that they can take action - the end goal is to create a conversion through your storytelling.
Create Chapters for Easy Navigation
Each book is divided into chapters to make the story easier to consume and navigate though. Similarly, the navigation of a website acts like the chapters of a story. It helps the viewer consume content in an easier manner and allows them to navigate to the sections that are relevant to them. Remember, not all viewers are present for the entire story and want to have the option to dip in & out to what they need, especially if they are in a rush. Apart from easy navigation, the navigation experience itself is a big part of digital storytelling. Great imagery, smooth animations, direction of flow and seamless transitions transform the boring task of scrolling down and capture the attention better.
Streamline the navigation of your web design. Reduce the options that are present so that it is not confusing for the viewer - less but necessary is key. Make content such as videos, blogs and work portfolio easy to access. More than anything, ensure that all the pages direct the viewers to a call-to-action. Each chapter of your web design can flow into each other but most importantly, should lead the end goal of action.
At Ingenious Branders, we understand the power of digital storytelling. We create effective branding and effortless storytelling through design. If you have a story you want us to help you narrate, contact us!