I have done some Storyboards in the past but could not find them – at one time I lost a hard drive with a lot of PentaSafe and older client work on it when it became messed up somehow. I will show you an example of something I have used with developers down below, but it’s not the proper use of the term.

Storyboards are about stories.

storyboarding-2-05A storyboard can be a valuable thing when you need to get in touch with, and have foresight for user emotion. Say you have an iPhone, and you drop it into your Pumpkin Spice coffee when sitting with both of them on the couch in an awkward position, and now you are devastated. What do you do? If you search online, the recommendation is to put the iPhone into a bag of dry rice to suck the moisture out. It’s midnight, your friends are in the phone, and you are hunting around for dry rice. How does this make the user feel and what will ultimately solve their problem with this (at that time) $650 device they have just possibly destroyed?

That really happened to me, by the way. Idiot. 🙂

Ideally your storyboards will be about mapping out tasks the user has to do to get a job done, and if you need a course on this, there’s a great short Storyboards & Scenarios course over at lynda.com.

And there is a neat image here that talks about how to set up a story, from beginning issue to resolution.

Methods of Illustrating

A storyboard can be a rough sketch, drawn and colored like a cartoon, or created digitally with either simplistic, 3D or advanced levels of design… it really depends on the maker’s skill set. I cannot draw freehand, so I manipulate tons of vector graphics to achieve what I want, so I usually either rough sketch or create something in Illustrator. You could also use photos if you can get enough of the right moods. Here are random examples from a Google search that I think are well done. Click the image to view.

Scenarios

A scenario is something that can also be depicted visually, if you have multiple possibilities that are equally weighted, especially. This is an example of a scenario, and then the next step would be to see the stories for each of these.

scenario2

Storyboarding Apps

UXP practitioners use various apps to create storyboards and scenarios. I use good old Illustrator or hand sketches and then take images into another doc like Powerpoint/Keynote or Word/Pages if more elaboration is needed. I have used Omnigraffle and Balsamiq in the past also. Here are a few additional apps that might help you design your stories:

• Online Storyboard App http://www.storyboardthat.com
• OmniGraffle https://www.omnigroup.com/omnigraffle
• Balsamiq https://balsamiq.com
• Sketch https://www.sketchapp.com
• Google Drawings https://support.google.com/docs/answer/179740?hl=en
• Ziteboard – this is cool as you can collaborate with others https://ziteboard.com

My Non-Accurate Examples 

I had not known what to call these flows I guess, so called them storyboards for developers. These were to show the team the different aspects of how a feature would need to function in terms of inputs and outputs.

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