Storyboarding for user experience is a lo fidelity way to rapidly convey an idea to stakeholders. It uses the “fail fast fail often” approach so that minimal time is wasted on going down the wrong path.
A successful UX storyboard should be quick to produce and effectively convey an idea to stakeholders so that know one is under any illusion as to what the idea is.
This post is inspired by Scott Klemmer’s Interaction Design course at the University of California, San Diego.
When storyboarding for the user experience it is important to heeds Scott’s advice especially:
It’s not about pretty pictures
The purpose of a user experience story board is to discover if an idea is a good one and if it meets the needs of the user.
Good storyboarding according to Scott Klemmer
The storyboard should cover these three areas:
- Who are the people involved?
- What is the environment in which the story takes place?
- What tasks are being accomplished?
- What are the steps involved?
- What leads someone to use the system?
- What task is being illustrated
- What motivates people to use this system?
- What does it enable people to accomplish?
- What need does the system for fill?
The benefits of storyboarding for user experience
- The holistic focus emphasises how an interface accomplishes a task
- Storyboarding avoids a commitment to a particular interface
- Helps get all the stakeholders on the same page – eg the clients, developers, design team and management
Advice for storyboarding user experience
Scott had some great advice, this is what I recall:
- Keep it simple, and fast
- When drawing people use ‘star people’ – a head on top of a 4 sided star
- Use an A3 sheet of paper
- Use a few Sharpie pens
- Divide the story into 4-6 rectangle boxes
Examples of storyboarding for user experience
Now for the pretty pictures! ha, ha 😉 I have much to learn still but here a few story boards I created for some fictional apps: