028 : Better products through storytelling with Donna Lichaw

Donna LichawStorytelling has been a part of the human experience since the beginning of history (one of the reasons that we even have history). Our brains are wired to respond to stories — whether it’s an urban legend told to us around a campfire as a child, or the tale of an obese man who lost weight with an all-Subway diet.

Donna Lichaw knows a thing or two about the importance of narrative, having studied film for both her undergrad and graduate degrees. She now uses the power of the narrative arc to build compelling products that engage the user by leading them through a carefully crafted experience. She’s worked with companies such as Seamless, Citi, Bloomberg, and Atlantic Records, diving into the user experience and building products that stick.

This episode is amazing. My favorite part is when she applies the narrative arc to an app I’m working on, and we get to see the entire process in action (starts at 52:45).

Here’s what we chat about:

  • Donna’s film studies background and how it’s colored everything else in her life
  • Behind the scenes of a documentary film, and how it’s like the discovery process for building products
  • How teaching shows you how much you really know
  • How Donna has adjusted to working with a personal assistant
  • How to make sure that you’re getting quality work from your assistant
  • Why everything needs a build-measure-learn cycle
  • The different forms that a Minimum Viable Product can take
  • The one question you should be asking yourself if you have an idea for a new app

Links mentioned in this show include:

Did you enjoy this episode? Thank Donna on Twitter!

If you thought this episode of the podcast was interesting, take a few seconds and let Donna know by clicking the link below to share via Twitter (you can edit the tweet first):

Click here to thank Donna on Twitter!


What is your app’s narrative arc? Let us know in the comments below!

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