The Story Matching Pattern
Shows the user other people’s experience of the system, told through stories or even very small snippets of scenes. The user can see which story matches their own — or which parts of the story matches them — so that the user can make sense of what the system is, and what their best strategy for navigating it might be.
Type of Design
Good for Contexts like
Understanding the System
Making a Strategic Decision
Engagement in System
Problems & Contexts It Can Work For
Story matching is useful when a user is first getting their bearings in the system. It could even be one of the first things they learn, to see how other people have used this system, found value in it, or even what mistakes and problems they’ve encountered in it.
This pattern might also be relevant when the user is faced with a choice — she can see how other people have chosen, what reasons they had for their choice, and what resulted. This can help the user relate to the system, when there are human faces and narrative flows to help her make sense of all the details and options.
How to Make It
Use a vector image editor, like Adobe Illustrator or Omnigraffle, to lay out a series of images and text, in the form of a storyboard, a comic strip, or an infographic.
You can also use comic-specific software tools, like ComicLife.