Module II: Plotting The Journey
The purpose of this activity is to tell the story of each superhero’s journey.
How It Works
Now that we’ve got superheroes for each team that represent each of our audience segments, we are going to work in teams to tell the story of each superhero. There are a few helpful constraints for the layout, structure and principles of each story, but other than that, how you tell your superhero’s story is entirely up to you and your team.
Each team receives an equal length sheet of paper cut from the large roll (1-2 meters minimum).
Use note cards as scenes within the story and the vertical space to represent emotional highs and lows for the superhero. For example, if the superhero has a death in the family, that notecard is probably going to be at the very bottom of the sheet. If the superhero accomplishes their goal and realizes their super motivation, it is probably going to be at the very top of the sheet.
Each story should be told chronologically from left to right.
You can draw lines between scenes to represent change and progression. If you want to create a fork in the road ‘choose your ending’-type story, you can use different colored lines or note cards to represent the different options.
Each story should contain a backstory, and three acts. Here is a simple story structure from an author named Donald Miller to help you tell your story:
A character has a problem, then meets a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action. That action either results in a comedy or tragedy.
In the context of these stories, our story’s main character is the superhero (our customer) and we are the guide. We are not the hero. It is really crucial that we all understand our role in this story: We want to help the hero move from a place of dissonance to a place of resonance. We want to break through confusion and give them confidence that they have what it takes.
We touched briefly in the morning session on what makes a good hero and hinted at what makes a good story. It is important for us to reflect on the stories that have lasting impressions on us and on our society in order for us to make good stories in this activity.
What makes a good story? What are some examples of good stories and bad stories? What are examples of stories that started off well and ended poorly?
A good story needs to have a single coherent arc. If there are too many threads in the plotline—too much going on, the story falls apart.
It should be about a character who wants something and wants it badly. It can be as simple as wanting to drink a drop of water in the desert, but that character’s desire for change is the supermotivation that shapes the arc of the story. That’s important to remember.
A good story has rich and authentic conflict. Sometimes the conflict is as simple as another character who directly opposes their supermotivation, but sometimes the conflict is more complex: A fatal flaw, a repressed desire, etc…
A good story has a character who has something to lose. Whether its Lord of The Rings, Little Miss Sunshine, Memento or The Hunger Games—there is usually a great risk involved in the hero’s pursuit of their desire.
Discuss a strategy about how you’re going to tell this story together. If you need to change your hero in any way, you have total creative license, just remember that this hero’s journey is going to serve as a proxy for us to explore opportunities for us as the guide to help our hero along their journey. Conflict is key.
By the end of the session you will want to have a Journey Map that shows the backstory and three acts of the hero’s journey.
Part I: The End
Stay tuned for the Hero’s Journey UX Workshop Part II which will be coming soon..
(This post first appeared on http://writings.john-ellison.com/heros-journey-ux-workshop-part-i/)