Twenty-second – storytelling

Today’s questions relate to the previous readings, not those of this assignment. As I mentioned previously, I liked them very much. I thought, they discuss something very much relevant to what I initially envisioned to be the main drama of my adventure into the computer screen: to be able to tell stories differently than I was trained in the past years. I expected that web design will force me to go beyond syntax, arrangement of arguments and supporting evidence, summaries and footnotes, and discover how many other visual and non-visual elements can assist me to tell a story. And here we are, I am reading about this very topic.

The articles “Better User Experience With Storytelling – Part One and Part Two” explain that every website can be built along an envisioned story line, just like those of novels and movie scripts. They even imply that every plot is the same plot, which I strongly doubt. Nevertheless, Francisco Inchauste, the author claims that having a plot constructed and having all the elements of the site arranged accordingly, provides the user an emotionally enriched experience, which helps selling the product, keep the web site in use. My understanding is that the storytelling is not the primary goal of the website but a tool to design them, therefore websites, even those that were designed through story telling, not necessarily tell stories. They don’t narrate in the traditional sense of the word. When visiting http://www.apple.com, as the author cites, one is not acquainted with the products through a story. But the information may be structured that they create tension, further anticipation, and then they convince the viewer of something that it will lead to a very limited catharsis-like decision: yes, I will buy (or die). This experience is not so different from those of traditional techniques of marketing, developed before the web-age.

The last question refers to the Google web site, and asks if its success is an example of storytelling being a tool that makes web sites successful. Do search engines fall into the same category as web sites selling products? Can I really tell how a web site was created based on its looks? I was trying to search for these answers on Google, but I could only find a million of web sites offering me help how to build a Google site. Regardless, Inchauste’s argument remains convincing: for me, story telling still seems to be the way to go when designing a web site.

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