Design and the Art of Storytelling


By: Lauralee Sheehan, Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Digital 55

As humans, we tell stories. Stories help us share information, experience connection and meaning. As artists and designers we have this special superhero power to tell stories and curate experiences on a very dynamic level.

Working in the interactive design and learning space, this visualization is fascinating to me when thinking about digital experiences as it always comes down to designing stories. Digitizing content in a visual manner is often complex and intersectional. With an extensive track-record working alongside purpose-driven organizations, not-for-profits, and government agencies on issues as important as equity, diversity and inclusion, social justice, human rights, arts and culture, addiction and healthy gambling, healthy eating, physical activities, and sun safety, I know that it is by no means straightforward handling such content sensitively and effectively.

As a quick case study on the power of visual curation to set a mood, let’s use some song lyrics. Since I have a complete love for all things Frank Ocean, I wanted to mood board certain lyrics to show how a feeling is evoked from words to visuals even by a single image asset.

When we are telling stories, the design choices we make set the tone and impact the experience. Clients put all trust in us as designers to visualize what they cannot and make their content come to life or jump off the digital page, so to speak. It’s important that we continue to explore storytelling and the art thereof. Always remember what story you are trying to tell or more importantly, who’s story. Don’t forget your design criteria but be willing to throw those out the window in order to create meaning and share knowledge. These days everything is a learning experience (my new catch phrase), so take the opportunity to make stories sing through art and design!

Lauralee Sheehan is a design thinker, a digital addict, but above all an artist. With years of experience working in the creative and digital product development sector, Lauralee is a trailblazer in the digital space, pushing forward how creative and tech intersect. Her unique background, having her own product line (with a product design shoutout on Buzzfeed) and as a former owner of an indie record label, Lauralee brings a fresh, authentic and innovative approach to the design and learning space.