The practice of storytelling is as old as time. And it is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. Nowadays, many forms of storytelling exist. The most well known: The Hero’s Journey. It has been used to tell stories like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
We are going to use parts of The Hero’s Journey to help make a cohesive interactive experience that resonates with your target audience.
Call to adventure
In this story the user is the hero. The first thing our hero sees is a link or qr-code to your experience. We need the hero to go on our adventure and open the experience.
But how are we going to do that?
The first question should always be “What is the one most important thing the hero wants to know?”. Ideally you answer this question by asking the target audience themselves. The answer to this question is your USP.
Now we need to translate the USP to the first thing the hero sees, the QR-code. It has to be instantly clear why the user should scan it. Show this with a small text, make the QR-code itself appealing or add a graphic that gives a sneak peak of the experience.
Here we have an example of a fun way to show of a qr-code. It sparks curiosity and gives a glimpse of what the hero can expect. When scanned, Mochi the dog comes to life and starts the experience.
Meeting the mentor
Congratulations! The hero took their first steps.
We have an amazing adventure planned, filled to the brim with new exciting techniques and gamification. But we have to help the hero a little. Doing new things and investing time in our adventure can be scary. This is where the mentor comes in. Their role is to prepare and empower the hero for the challenges ahead, offering guidance, advice, and encouragement. The mentor can be a recurring character that helps the hero throughout the experience.
We give a short introduction to the game and why the hero should care about it. Keep it short and as visual as possible.
Here you see an introduction for the experience. The mentor in this case is the dog Mochi, which will be recurring in the rest of the experience. The hero can choose a game he wants to play. By giving this small introduction the hero knows what to expect and has agency in what he wants to see.
Crossing the threshold
The hero steps from the known world - an orderly, safe place - to the unknown world: chaotic, risky but full of potential.
The hero is ready to start the more exciting part of the adventure, interacting with your gamified content. For the transition to a gamelike experience, a small tutorial is important to tell the hero what he should do.
Here Mochi explains to the hero step by step what is expected of him and can take a breath before the game starts.
Challenges and temptations
This is the exciting part! Just like in any old adventure story, the hero is met with challenges to overcome. A game in the broadest sense, an interaction where you convey your message in a fun way.
In the interactive experience builder there are a lot of tools to make your message pop out of the competition. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few examples to give you an idea of what is possible:
A quiz (about your workplace, about knowledge of your product, about the skills of a potential student)
A tour (using mapping to show the user how amazing your company/workspace/university can be. Make it a treasure hunt by adding riddles and (virtual) items to collect)
A brand experience (using the power of Augmented Reality, you can showcase your product in 3D and ask questions, let the user choose between different products with branching choices).
This is the final step of the special world: a revelation. Everything seems clear now and the user achieves fulfilment. In other words: the user understands the message you were trying to tell. They have taken in all the information. Make this clear. If the user has clicked all the right answers, reward the user with an animation, a ‘Good job!’ or any other thing that feels rewarding after doing the experience. Can you link this to your USP?
Your hero is on the way back from the adventure and now knows exactly why he should care about your brand, company or product.
End the game in a similar manner as the way we started it. We transition smoothly from the game part of the experience to the end of the experience. Give a small outro, summarize what the hero has learned or show a visual transition using a video or GIF.
Return with elixer
Now that the hero is back home from his adventure, it is time for the call to action.
It is important not to overwhelm your hero: pick only one, powerful call to action.
Provide more information about your company, redirect users to a website or allow the user to easily get in touch with you.
Here we redirect the hero to our website in the case that the hero wants to learn more about our company.
Now we learned how to use different steps out of the heroes journey to shape our stories in a fun experience. Come up with your own stories and find new ways for your audience to connect with your message.
Stories have been around for as long as there have been people, but they are more popular today than ever. In business, stories are used to bind potential customers or employees to your organisation, product or service.
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