5 ways to tell a great story

It’s important to let your users who know you are what your site is for.

A lot of websites have great content. They’ll have impressive features, great navigation, interesting design, and provide an experience that’s worth a user’s time. However, most websites don’t tell the company’s story. They don’t talk about the people who work there or about the CEO who started it all. By “telling the story,” we mean teach the user what your company is about, what you are selling, why you are selling it, and what your product and service can do for the user. And most importantly—you need tell the story fast in a visually impressive way. It’s not easy…but if you do it right, you can reap the rewards. There are several ways it can be done.

Many great designers have utilized screen captures to visually show a user their app. You could even have an illustration or model to show the user your process. A great introductory statement could work too—just be careful not to be too witty, too clever, or too obnoxious—anything over the top can work against you. The key here is to be engaging and descriptive. You want the user to like you.

Good copy, clear navigation, and ease of use are all important parts of the “awesome app” equation. But those are all things that happen after a user finds your site and decides to act on something. Good design isn’t enough. Hook your reader first. Once they take a bite, you can reel them in. But you can’t reel them in if they’re not interested in what you’re offering. A clear explanation of what you’re about is vital to the success of your website or app.

Here are 5 examples of websites that tell great stories:

1) Apple. Yes, Apple is awesome. Regardless of what your opinions on Apple are, Apple is successful for a reason. They are master storytellers. They have embedded video and images of people using their devices on their iPad page to showcase what the iPad experience is all about.

2) Square. The website for their credit card reader device shows images of a people using the reader to tell what the Square credit card reader device can do. Portraying an “everyday person” using the product is an effective way to show new visitors what it is and how they can use it, too.

3) Workfu. Workfu is a talent finding website that places multiple views from inside its application for users to see.

4) Disqus. The Disqus blog comment system app places a live working version directly on the home page. People can start using it immediately. By allowing users to use it as soon as they land on the home page, Disqus’s home page tells the story while a user experiences it.

5) Shape. This web design company uses intriguingly clever illustrations to portray the story of what services the company provides. It sets the stage for what Shape is as a business.

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