Myth or Truth: Behind every good design is a story

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Design takes the client through a journey through a story

Would you believe me if I told you that a good design always has a story?

Look at tattoos, for example. People really think hard before getting inked — after all, they’re going to feel pain, and it’ll be etched on their skin permanently. Even if they’re half drunk when they get it, that’s still a good story to tell.

I saw this guy on TikTok last night. He went on for 10 minutes about the client meetings, changes, and stuff for just a single logo. I watched it all!

Design is everywhere, from buildings to everyday stuff and even websites. But what we often miss is the incredible story behind it. Just like a favorite book, every good design tells a tale!

So, what’s “Design as Narrative”? It’s like telling a fantastic story through design. A well-designed thing isn’t just practical; it connects with us emotionally, like art with a heart-to-heart talk, art, from the very first idea to the final product.

We humans are story junkies. Our brains crave meaning in everything we encounter, and narratives are the perfect way to deliver that meaning. 

When design becomes a narrative, it grabs our attention and takes us on a journey that makes the whole experience unforgettable.

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Dimensions of design as narrative

To understand this better, let’s break down the Three Dimensions of Design as Narrative, shall we?

First up, Purposeful Creation: Behind every brilliant design is a purpose. The designers start with a vision of how it’ll impact people’s lives and the feelings it’ll evoke. It’s like the foundation of the story that unfolds as the design takes shape.

Imagine a public park designed with sustainability in mind. The narrative here revolves around ecological conservation and community engagement.

Visitors interact with eco-friendly materials, witness solar-powered lighting, and even join in communal gardening. Purpose-driven designs make the story more compelling and authentic.

Next, we’ve got Context and Culture: Every design exists within a specific context and culture, and they influence it big time. 

By drawing from these influences, designers can create works that resonate with the intended audience, making them feel at home.

For example, when designing a museum, architects may take inspiration from the surrounding landscape or the area’s history. 

This makes the museum’s narrative celebrate and preserve the local heritage, connecting with visitors on a deeper level.

Lastly, User Experience is crucial: Design isn’t just about looks; it’s about how it feels to use it. 

The way people interact with a design and the emotions it evokes are all part of its narrative. A well-crafted design takes users on a journey with each interaction.

Think about a mobile app that makes managing finances a breeze. The narrative here revolves around empowerment and control over one’s financial life.

As users navigate the app’s user-friendly interface, they feel empowered to manage their money wisely—a reinforcement of the app’s narrative.

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Design is story, story is design

Design is like a story waiting to be told. Each good design has its own captivating tale—a story of cultural influences and unforgettable experiences. And as users, recognizing the narratives within designs lets us appreciate the world around us.

It helps us understand the intentions of the creators and the deeper meanings behind the things we see and use every day.

So, next time you encounter a beautifully designed object or space, take a moment to explore its narrative, as it might just speak right to your soul. 

Embrace the power of design as narrative, and let’s create a world full of meaningful and empathetic designs.