Human Centered Design with Sean Hewens

Posted by Alexis Nadin on September 13th, 2012

We were lucky to have Sean Hewens from IDEO give a webinar on human-centered design and storytelling in the social sector. If you were unable to attend Sean’s webinar you can find a link below which will take you to his recorded presentation and slides. Sean shared valuable information on storytelling, including 5 reasons to tell your story and shared 11 tips on how to effectively get your message out. Please find the link to Sean’s webinar here.

Why Tell your Story?

1)      Creates excitement. Telling your story gets people excited about your project.

2)      Telling a story promotes the continuation of your project. Storytelling assists with documentation. This is especially helpful if you are a volunteer run organization.

3)      Helps others learn from your successes and failures. Admitting to your failures and sharing this with others is beneficial to the learning process.  Sean suggests referencing AdmittingFailure.

4)      A good story makes a great prototyping tool. It can help you imagine the future. Sean suggests using stories during your organizational and project design process.

5)      Stories are a great synthesizing tool, allowing you to focus on key parts of an event.

11 Tips for Telling a Good Story

1)      Stop trying to write, just start writing instead. It can be difficult to get started, but just go for it!

2)      Simplify

3)      Know your audience. Ask yourself who you are telling your story to, ex: volunteers or donors? Tailor your story depending on the audience.

4)      Have a beginning, middle and an end.

5)      Have a central message. Be concise.

6)      Have a goal for your story. Try to finish this sentence when deciding why you are telling your story. “This story will be successful if…”

7)      Make is personal. Don’t be afraid to have a point of view.

8)      Powerful stories touch hearts, not just minds. Numbers are great to have, but heart is important too.

9)      Paint the scene. Little details can make a huge difference.

10)   Pair your stories with powerful photos and videos. Take lots of photos and videos. You never know which photo will capture that moment!

11)   Don’t just talk about the good parts of the story. People learn more from mistakes. This is one of our values here at GlobalGiving as well. Listen.Act.Learn.Repeat. .

For more resources on human-centered design feel free to reference IDEO’s human-centered design tool-kit, which can be found here.

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