Why Do Stories Matter?

Why Do Stories Matter?
August 31, 2010 Séamus Byrne

Why do Stories MatterPreviously: Interaction Design and Storytelling

There is nothing like a good story to get people engaged. According to Dr Walter Fischer,  a communications theorist, in addition to being Homo sapiens, Human beings are also Homo narrans – we are hardwired to be storytellers. He says “we experience life as a series of ongoing narratives, as conflicts, characters, beginnings, middles and ends”. Stories are how people make sense of the world.

Stories are the glue that hold communities together. It is through the sharing of stories that communities build their identities, pass on tradition and construct meaning. If you looking for a common feature that runs through all people, it would be our connection and affinity to a good story.

But what is a good story? Ultimately, quality in storytelling is subjective to the individual but there are elements and forms of storytelling that are particularly effective at entertaining and drawing us humans into a state of immersion. As such, storytelling is a great tool for adding meaning and emotional connections to interactive experiences. Storytelling is the killer app that, when crafted well, can add desirability, meaning, consistency and harmony across your brands, products and services.

Before I delve more into methods of how to infuse experiences with story, I want to journey back in time, to discuss storytelling’s endurance and adaptability, as it has evolved throughout the edges with its good friend, technology!

Next Post: The evolution of storytelling with technology

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Séamus Byrne
Séamus is the Director of User Experience at Graphic Mint.