Storytelling has been a natural form of communication for as long as human history has been recorded. From early cave drawings to watching a video on YouTube, visual storytelling is a powerful way to inform, educate, instruct, and communicate shared ideas. As instructional designers, we are always looking for opportunities to tell better stories with our content, so let's explore ways to tell compelling stories without words.

Implementing visual storytelling allows instructional designers to construct narratives that attract and hold attention and increase retention by making topics easier to understand.

Visual stories or visual narratives are primarily told using visual media to show a lot of information in a short amount of time. These stories may include still photography, illustration, or video enhanced with graphics, music, sound effects, and other audio. Visual storytelling can take many forms, including bar graphs, charts, infographics, explainer videos, social media posts, and complex diagrams.

In this session we'll define visual storytelling and its application to instructional design. We'll look at various examples of visual stories and learn what distinguishes informative from instructional narratives. You'll learn steps you can take to start structuring a visual narrative and tips on visual style to evoke emotion and capture your audience's attention.


Session Video