“Directed storytelling allows designers to easily gather rich stories of lived experiences from participants, using thoughtful prompts and guiding and framing questions in conversation.” Evenson, Shelley. “Directed Storytelling: Interpreting experience for design” in design Studies: theory and research in Graphic design, a reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press (2006).

After a talk by guest speaker Sara Nevay, we were asked to write a theoretical blog post about what we aspire to be doing in five years’ time. This allowed us to tell our own story but we had to fill out some of the ‘prompt’ like the title and tags that would sum up the key themes of our story. We also had to include a visual representation of our vision. Once finished, the tags we’d used allowed us to categorise our sheets and the whole class displayed their blogs on the wall, a photo of which is shown below.

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I think Directed Storytelling can be effective as a form of research because it allows the participant to relax and they that feel they are in control and, if the probing questions are delivered correctly, not as if they are scrutinised. Participants often get caught up in telling a story and therefore give up more information than they originally intended to. Prompting questions are vital and helpful to keep the story on track and the researcher learns exactly what they want to know, in a relaxed environment.

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