I consider myself an expert communicator, and I love storytelling. I wanted to package up my experiences helping people make great presentations and create a tool that offers a new approach.

People are expected to make slide-based presentations all the time, but the traditional software available makes it an overwhelming, directionless activity. I’ve had to fix many unsuccessful decks for colleagues, and sit through many more!

 Winston is a web-based presentation creation tool that helps users tell better stories with their slides by providing storytelling templates and contextual guidance.

Year: 2022

Role: Vision and UX

Tools: Figma

Created as part of graduate studies at USC

My research with over 100 individuals validated that people are mostly going through the motions of tools they’re used to using. 

They’re struggling with multiple aspects of slide creation.

We explored multiple user journeys and several UX/UI solutions before our initial prototype.

The initial Winston prototype was based on a persuasive argument presentation, but taking inspiration from other story tropes (three act play, hero’s journey), I believe we can program paths for others.

Winston uniquely has two modes in which to focus the user: writing and designing.

This diagram illustrates the traditional persuasive argument being used in the Winston workflow.

The biggest differentiator of Winston is that it presents a storytelling template instead of a visual template. Lots of users start with a visual template, but it’s not as helpful as you might expect because it offers so many options. Using my background in storytelling, I’m building story templates that surface to the user only the slides that are necessary to achieve their goals.

From this prototype we learned a lot not only about how users interact with presentation tools, but also how they perceive their own skills in presentation-creation. We’re currently working on the next version of Winston, which will seek to balance between the novel and the familiar.