Wednesday Sprint – User journey & Storyboard

Wednesday Sprint – User journey & Storyboard

Story board

Make a storyboard. Use a storyboard to plan your prototype. (p. 149)

  1. Draw a grid. About fifteen squares on a whiteboard. (p. 152)
  2. Choose an opening scene. Think of how customers normally encounter your product or service. Keep your opening scene simple: web search, magazine article, store shelf, etc. (p. 153)
  3. Fill out the storyboard. Move existing sketches to the storyboard when you can. Draw when you can’t, but don’t write together. Include just enough detail to help the team prototype on Thursday. When in doubt, take risks. The finished story should be five to fifteen steps. (p. 154)

Storyboard

In order to create better products, designers must understand what’s going on in the user’s world and understand how their products can make the user’s life better. And that’s where storyboards come in.

What Is A Storyboard?

A storyboard is a linear sequence of illustrations, arrayed together to visualize a story. As a tool, storyboarding comes from motion picture production. Walt Disney Studios is credited with popularizing storyboards, having used sketches of frames since the 1920s. Storyboards enable Disney animators to create the world of the film before actually building it.

Stories are the most powerful form of delivering information for a number of reasons:

  • Visualization
  • Memorability
  • Empathy
  • Engagement

Each story should have following elements:

  • Character
    A character is the persona featured in your story. Behavior, expectations, feelings, as well as any decisions your character makes along the journey are very important. Revealing what is going on in the character’s mind is essential to a successful illustration of their experience. Each story should have at least one character.
  • Scene
    This is the environment inhabited by the character (it should have a real-world context that includes a place and people).
  • Plot
    The plot should start with a specific event (a trigger) and conclude with either the benefit of the solution (if you’re proposing one) or the problem that the character is left with (if you’re using the storyboard to highlight a problem the user is facing).
  • Narrative
    The narrative in a storyboard should focus on a goal that the character is trying to achieve. All too often, designers jump right into explaining the details of their design before explaining the backstory. Avoid this. Your story should be structured and should have an obvious beginning, middle and end. Most stories follow a narrative structure that looks a lot like a pyramid — often called a Gustav Freytag pyramid, after the person who identified the structure. Freytag broke down stories into five acts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action (resolution) and denouement (conclusion).

The Primary Purpose of Storyboards Is Communication

When you search for storyboards online, they always look really nice. You might think that in order to do them properly, you have to be really good at drawing. Good news: You don’t. A great storyboard artist isn’t necessary the next Leonardo da Vinci. Rather, a great storyboard artist is a great communicator.

Thus, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a skilled illustrator. What is far more important is the actual story you want to tell. Clearly conveying information is key. Keep in mind that a designer’s main skill isn’t in Photoshop or Sketch, but rather is the ability to formulate and describe a scenario.

When thinking about storyboarding, most people focus on their ability (or inability) to draw. The good news is that you don’t need to be good at drawing in order to create storyboards. This example is a storyboard frame from Martin Scorsese’s film Goodfellas. (View large version)

How to Work Out a Story Structure?

Before drawing a single line on a piece of paper or whiteboard, prepare to make your story logical and understandable. By understanding the fundamentals of the story and deconstructing it to its building blocks, you can present the story in a more powerful and convincing way.

Each story should have following elements:

  • Character
    A character is the persona featured in your story. Behavior, expectations, feelings, as well as any decisions your character makes along the journey are very important. Revealing what is going on in the character’s mind is essential to a successful illustration of their experience. Each story should have at least one character.
  • Scene
    This is the environment inhabited by the character (it should have a real-world context that includes a place and people).
  • Plot
    The plot should start with a specific event (a trigger) and conclude with either the benefit of the solution (if you’re proposing one) or the problem that the character is left with (if you’re using the storyboard to highlight a problem the user is facing).
  • Narrative
    The narrative in a storyboard should focus on a goal that the character is trying to achieve. All too often, designers jump right into explaining the details of their design before explaining the backstory. Avoid this. Your story should be structured and should have an obvious beginning, middle and end. Most stories follow a narrative structure that looks a lot like a pyramid — often called a Gustav Freytag pyramid, after the person who identified the structure. Freytag broke down stories into five acts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action (resolution) and denouement (conclusion).
Freytag’s pyramid, showing the five parts, or acts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement. Ben Crothers has drawn in a quick story about a guy whose phone doesn’t work.

To make your story powerful, account for these things:

  • Clarity
    The main thing is to make the character, their goal and what happens in their experience as clear as possible. The outcome of the story should be clear for anyone who sees it: If you use a storyboard to communicate an existing problem, end with the full weight of the problem; if you use a storyboard to present a solution that will make the character’s life better, end with the benefits of that solution.
  • Authenticity
    Honor the real experiences of the people for whom you’re designing. If you’re writing a story that isn’t faithful to the product, it won’t bring any value to you and your users. Thus, the more realistic the storyboard is, the better will be the outcome.
  • Simplicity
    Each detail in the story should be relevant to experience. Cut out any unnecessary extras. No matter how good a phrase or picture may be, if it doesn’t add value to the overall message, remove it.
  • Emotion
    Bake emotion into the story. Communicate the emotional state of your character throughout their experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Storyboard

 

  • Grab a pen and paper.
  • Start with a plain text and arrows.
  • Bake emotion into the story.
  • Translate each step into a frame.
  • Show it to teammates.

 

 

Babich, N. (2017). The Role Of Storyboarding In UX Design — Smashing Magazine. [online] Smashing Magazine. Available at: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/10/storyboarding-ux-design/ [Accessed 7 Jul. 2019].

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/10/storyboarding-ux-design/

 

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