In the previous article, we have highlighted the examples and necessity of a storyboard. Now in this article, we will illustrate how to create your storyboard.
There are 3 prerequisites for a storyboard:
- A persona to relate the story,
- A script to exhibit a continuous flow,
- The past and present scope of the actions.
A step-wise execution of the storyboard
Planning to show the storyboard to your team? There is some preparation needed to make the story logical. You need to understand the fundamentals of the story for a better representation.
There are 6 steps to complete the storyboard.
- Gathering the data:
Collect the data from various sources like an interview, diary, usability test, and site metric to identify the users to craft your stories.
- Choose the level of fidelity:
Keep in mind the goal and audience of the artifact. A storyboard is a collaborative task, with post-its as part of an ideation meeting, with photographs or video stills from usability tests to distill information to a larger audience, or through design programs as a higher-fidelity deliverable to a client. Don’t spend time finessing the visuals unless required.
- Define the basics:
Choose a persona and scenario that reaches a single user path. In this approach, the storyboard doesn’t split in multiple directions. Next, you can start planning out the panels of your storyboard.
Think about what steps you want to show. You can draw as you go, but I like to plan my storyboard panels by thinking through the steps and activities I want to highlight before drawing.
- Adding visuals and captions:
Using advanced illustrations and creating a beautiful comic-book-style artifact is not a requisite for effective storyboards. Stick figures and basic sketches are just fine. Draw out your panels and add corresponding captions to describe the additional context that won’t convey at first glance.
- Distribute and iterate:
Whether you let your team for research findings or ask for feedback on expected workflows, share it with a broader audience, and iterate if needed. Storyboards help us empathize with our users by visualizing their workflows. Use these steps to tell a story about your users.
Some designers are superb storytellers. If you aim your story to make a powerful impact on the listeners or your team, here are a few points to think about.
An authentic story requires characters seen in real life. The persona should reflect the real world, the goal, and their experience in a clear tone. If the story isn’t resonating with your products, your listeners will lack empathy. It’s best in your interest to focus on the real personas and authentic situations.
The tasks, and actions added to the storyboard add value to the story. Remove extra situations or pictures, pages, or sentences that are not valuable to the user. So, asking for feedback while the user undergoes a financial transaction. It affects your business as the user expects the confirmation of the transactions, but you ask for a service rating.
Emotions are essential to communicate the emotional state of the character. For example, a user having severe tooth pain rushes to make an appointment with a doctor.
The designs you create are for real users, so better to illustrate experiences faced in real life.
How to illustrate experiences
Writing a storyboard is a little daunting, especially when you are a poor storyteller. You will only achieve a good flow by practicing the guidelines that will help you convert a story into a better scenario.
- Start with text and arrows:
Break the story into moments like the start of the story, the context, characters, decisions, trigger points, the problem, and the solutions provided by the app.
- Add emotions to your story:
To ensure the story gains attention and encourages the listeners, add emotions, visual diagrams, sketches, or drawings to make it feel real. Illustrate the reactions, the success, the pain points, achievements, and the timeline as you try to illustrate the story.
- Add boxes to each step:
Translate these steps into the visual presentation by adding boxes, thus mapping each plaintext step to the sketch.
- Be clear with your outcome:
The story should avoid ambiguity. If there are situations where the story describes unfavorable conditions to the user, end with the benefits of your solution to the user’s problem.
The role of a UX designer is responsible as they think about the goals of business and users. Understanding the different task flows, and selecting the correct one to reach the user goal is necessary for business.
A storyboard with the proper task flow, including personas, actual situations, emotions, and a bit of empathy, is enough for your UX designers to make them understand their users.