“To do research into an experience… is to experience it.”
Directed Storytelling is a process used to gather accounts of people’s lives. This is a great quick method to use if time and budget are a concern. If you can’t afford the time of a long-term ethnographic research, directed storytelling is the way to go.
“The general rule: if you cannot directly observe something, use directed storytelling.”
This process is ideal for groups of three. One person is the storyteller who shares the story of the experience. The second person is the leader who leads the storyteller with questions and assists if the storyteller gets stuck. The third and final person involved is the documenter. They write down all if the important elements or ideas of the story on separate sheets of paper or post-its.
These ideas and elements are collected and sorted into groups, clusters and/or patterns. The clusters with the common elements are worked into a model or framework that show how the common elements are linked. This framework ends up being the “shorthand” for the common experienced that the participant’s have had. The hierarchy of the common elements will be developed from these frameworks and will assist the designers with the development of the design solution.
This program can be used for many different data gathering applications. It has been used for figuring out problems with the Blackboard system and to do a study to see if giving or receiving gifts was better. It is a quick and easy way to gather and present information from the user’s perspective when there is little time or budget.