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Our perspective on branding and graphics, tools we find useful, case histories and fun facts on design in the 2 dimensional realm.

persuasion

persuasion

  Did you follow that line of reasoning?

Did you follow that line of reasoning?

How do you communicate and convince others with your point of view?  Unsurprisingly perhaps, it turns out that stories are more engaging and persuasive than facts: they engage both the emotions and the intellect to provide a mental framework that keeps on working long after you've stopped talking.  A study done at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 by Deborah Small, George Lowenstein and Paul Slovic concluded two things: personal stories about identifiable people make a case far more compellingly than depersonalized statistics, and personal stories are often more compelling than stories plus statistics, especially when those facts blunt the impact of the story.

Why then does your website rely on facts and not stories?  Lots of reasons: not enough space, too many words, undefined audience...but most likely, a mindset focused on the mission and not the audience.  If you stop to consider who you serve, elicit personal and evocative narratives showing your impact, and convey that impact visually and viscerally as a story, then you stand a better chance of conveying a convincing message.

Department of appropriate attribution: "Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims," Deborah A. Small, George Loewenstein, Paul Slovic; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2007.