I recently finished reading a small, impact-full book called “Epic” by John Eldridge. Though the book is primarily a Christian theme, I realized as I was reading the prologue how the importance of a “story” has implications in design.

A good quote to consider might be one spoken by Samwise Gamgee in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings:

“I wonder what sort of tale we’ve landed in.”

One of the key ideas in Epic is that every situation is a small part of a larger story. The design implication here is that every solution should anticipate a story, and have a plan as to how each story should unfold. Using personas would be a good way to achieve this.

This sort of consideration leads to designs that are meaningful and relevant. William Shakesphere’s Macbeth has a good quote that could also be applied to design, and that is to avoid a design that is:

“…but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.”