Engaging Design Pitches: Storytelling Approaches and their Impacts

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper discusses the findings of a doctoral research study that builds an understanding of the relationship between storytelling approaches and their impacts at the design pitch. Determined through a literature review, the following desirable impacts were used to focus conversation during a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with employees from Unilever and Accenture: ‘Delivering Understanding’, ‘Demonstrating Value’, ‘Stimulating Critique’, and ‘Encouraging more Holistic Thinking’. In discussion of over fifty design pitches, interview participants identified many storytelling approaches used by designers when pitching product and service concepts, and their perceived relationships to the aforementioned impacts. Emergent themes were deciphered through the thematic analysis of the interview transcriptions, where four impacts were found to have significant relationships with the following storytelling approaches: ‘Acknowledging Cultural Perspectives and Beliefs’, ‘Diversity/Difference’, ‘Detailing Concept Development’, and ‘Imagery, in particular Analogy’. A summary of the relationships is presented in a framework, entitled ‘Design Pitch Storytelling: The Impact-Approach Framework’. Of particular significance for engaging audiences are the illustrations of the following relationships: firstly, detailing concept development can bring both transparency and familiarity to the design process, allowing the audience of the design pitch to have critical discussion and develop more holistic thinking around project territories; secondly, incorporating imagery can awaken a curiosity that leads to abstract and novel thinking, again encouraging more holistic viewpoints to develop around project territories.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016
EventOpen Design for E-very-thing: Cumulus Hong Kong 2016 - Hong Kong
Duration: 23 Nov 2016 → …


ConferenceOpen Design for E-very-thing: Cumulus Hong Kong 2016
Period23/11/16 → …


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