In the workshop, we imagine and write five key elements in the hero’s journey. The hero is written first, followed by the ending. Then we can determine the transformation that needs to occur to reach the ending. From there, we add details in the setup and hook to give the journey extra punch. Told in order, these five elements make up the inspiring story of the hero, whose life is transformed by our product.
Who is the hero of this story and what do they want? What’s keeping them from getting it?
These simple questions can be the hardest for people to answer. We know so much about our customer—what they do for a living, what kind of problems they have, and how our products solve their problems. But we don’t often ask what they really want in life.
What makes them feel happy and fulfilled? What gives their life meaning? Who is important to them? These are the things that influence how people make decisions and motivate them to change.
What can the hero expect in this story? What’s their emotional state before the transformation?
This is another important consideration in product design. What kind of experience will it provide? Will it be fun or serious, short or long, simple or complex? Can I acknowledge their emotional state and ensure they’ll get what they expect?
When is the moment the hero realizes this story might transform their life?
This is the first sign that transformation is possible, or that something interesting is about to happen. We always need to think about how to hook people into investing time in the product, and ask whether the payoff will be worth it.
What’s the big change from the beginning to the end? What has the hero realized?
Maybe something they believed possible is better than they imagined. Or something they thought impossible actually isn’t. This is the moment when people watching a movie want to cheer. The hero of our product experience should feel excited and be racing to the ending.
What has the hero achieved by the end of the story? How do they feel? Who are they with?
When we think about the customer’s life holistically, the ending will result in the their transformation—the moment they overcome their obstacles and get what they want.