Storytelling for User Experience
Brooks, K., & Quesenbery, W. (2010). Storytelling for User Experience. Brooklyn, N.Y: Rosenfeld Media. 320 pages.
We selected Storytelling for User Experience for discussion at the October UX Book Club CU event. Kevin Brooks is a researcher at Motorola Labs and a professional storyteller. Whitney Quesenbery is a user researcher and usability expert. This book is written for a broad audience and would appeal to both designers and researchers.
It's no secret that I tend to enjoy books published by Rosenfeld Media. They are well-organized, beautifully designed, and generally provide concise and clear treatment on timely topics. While I'm glad I read this book, if I hadn't been leading a book club discussion on the material I probably would not have finished it. In the first nine chapters Brooks & Quesenbery make a compelling case for using stories throughout the user experience design process - from communicating specific requirements to design teams to using stories to craft usability tasks. In the remaining six chapters the authors provide detailed instructions on how to create stories - discussing elements like perspective, plot, and delivery. Embedded within the main text are stories and anecdotes from the authors and other UX professionals. While some of the information contained in the later chapters is useful, I expected a book with more detail on how to use stories in user experience research, not a primer on basic story structure. I think this book could have benefited from stronger editing and could have 150 pages shorter.