The Power of Visual Storytelling and Why You Should Master It

Imagine yourself being in a whole day conference. What are you doing? Are you sipping a cup of coffee as you enjoy talking to someone? Or you are very much engaged with the speakers’ discussion? Now, let’s say that there are 15 speakers during that conference. Can you possibly remember the main points on each of their talk? You may or you may not, but which of them captured your attention the most, and whose talk reverberates in your mind? Storytelling evangelist Robert Cristobal assured that they are those who have good stories to tell.

In his presentation yesterday at the A SPACE Cebu,’ Chief Content Officer and Frame316’s Founder & Creative Storyteller shared his insights about visual story and how it can benefit designers, users and tech-related businessmen.

The seasoned creative storyteller started his talk by differentiating art and design. He discussed the difference between the two and why it matters if one should proclaim him/herself a designer or artist. The storyteller explained that the difference is simple: art ask questions while design answers questions. Art need not to explain its existence. People consume and respond to it. Design on the other hand is created based on a specific plan or need.

The artist is a free being. While the designer is also free; he/she has limitations in a sense that his/her experience must be in line with the user’s experience. Mr.Cristobal described user experience as a pursuit of something useful and designer experience as a constant struggle of creating something that will suffice the needs of the users. He pointed out that designers have to think like a user and should know both the wants and needs of the client.

Mr. Cristobal moved into giving few tips how designers can educate their clients as well as on how to start a conversation or a storytelling session with them in order for the designers to find out their insights. He noted that it is important because most of the time clients do not know what they want. Instead they know what they do not want. He added that the best way to connect with other human beings is through stories.

Designers as well as businessmen must make sure that they have a good story to tell. Informing someone is not storytelling. In this world where everyone is telling a story, if they would not master the art of storytelling, no one would listen to them. Thus, no one would buy their products or employ their services. If one wants their ideas to sell, he/she must offer something different. Something unique that would make people ask for more; something that they can relate to.

So how can designers use stories in their design process? Or is it even relevant? Mr. Cristobal answered such queries by enumerating three key benefits of storytelling: it helps anyone understand, engage and remember.

In a short exclusive interview with Founder’s Guide, Mr. Cristobal believed that videos are the best way to tell a story online as it doesn’t require the people to spend so much time. For instance, instead of spending an hour reading, people can grasp a relevant idea through a 90 second video.

When asked whether he is more of an artist or a designer, the creative storyteller immediately responded that he is both as he have mastered how to be an artist and as a designer along with a series of failure. Something which he described as the best way to master the two. Mr. Cristobal’s advice to young and aspiring designers is to be humble and to learn more from others.

Some people said that design is just aesthetic but it is more than that and only those who are willing to listen to a story can understand.

Digital Research Specialist
I'm a licensed educator currently exploring life using the lens of a writer. A millennial passionate about all things classic. I love good books and silly jokes. I'm still trying to figure out my super powers.