The Power of Storytelling in Web Design
How it works & why it matters
Stories shape our minds.
They have a unique power of influencing us both physically and mentally. As we listen to them, the regions in our brains involved in deciphering people’s perspectives turn on, and our brain waves end up synchronizing with those of the narrator. Stories can transport us to an imaginary time and place and persuade us to believe in something new.
Recognized as the most influential woman in the world and master at helping people live the life they want, Oprah Winfrey, for example, was able to earn people’s trust and respect by sharing life-changing situations she has experienced and having meaningful conversations with her audience. Utilizing the proper rhetoric, structure, and tone, she managed to resonate with the listeners who were eager to learn more and, subsequently, join the community she created.
Winfrey, in fact, acknowledged the importance of storytelling herself, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”
Anyone can learn the art and science of storytelling. As depicted by the National Geographic Society, storytelling is the act of telling stories, which are narratives with a beginning, middle, and end, typically told for entertainment or informational purposes.
30,000 years ago, humans drew on cave walls in Lascaux and Chavaux, France, to tell stories.
While a modern-day web page is certainly no cave wall, its purpose lies in sharing why your company exists and why its products or services matter. With proper illustrations, captivating rhetoric, and logical flow, your website can help you achieve your business goals.
First and foremost, get to know your audience.
Is your audience mostly comprised of millennials, seeking high-quality IT solutions? Or are you targeting Gen Zs, interested in cryptocurrency trading? Being aware of who your current and potential customers are changes the game completely and enables you to understand them better. Acknowledging the key pain points, you can adapt the layout of your website and the content to your audience’s needs and wants. The National Geographic website, for example, shares latest stories the moment you access it. The website itself tells a story by compiling most captivating content, produced all around the globe, driven by the fact that its visitors want to see the most daring images, videos, and story highlights, featuring Earth and its magnificent flora and fauna. You can get inspiration from such an approach and implement it in the context of your own unique audience.
Create a powerful message.
According to one study, visitors spend 52 seconds on a webpage across a multitude of industries. Hence, you shouldn’t communicate your main message in long paragraphs or even sentences. It’s much more effective to share your value proposition as briefly and concisely as possible, by mentioning who you are, what you do, what makes you special, and what actions you want your audience to take.
Structure the content strategically.
After you determine what kind of content to include on your website, it’s crucial to place it strategically. When all sections and pages are woven into each other, the flow of content appears more smooth and, therefore, appealing to the visitor who will be guided through your entire site competently. Certain elements, such as headings or special offers, require a larger font size and, perhaps, a diferent color to provide more clarity and organization to the story you’re trying to tell.
Let others join your story.
There’s nothing consumers appreciate more than feeling cared for and recognized. You can stimulate such a feeling by allowing them to join your story. For instance, the young clean skincare line Rhode let others join Hailey Bieber, the founder, in her life-long pursuit of simple, safe, and nourishing ingredients. The ability to be part of something meaningful and relevant often drives people to become loyal customers of a business they choose to support.
Stories provide substance to websites and success to businesses. They make the market more human-centric rather than revenue-oriented, and there's not a better time than this for your website to share your own unique story.