How to Create a UX Storyboard

Designers conduct a lot of research to understand the user needs and requirements before designing the product. Once the research is completed designers need to find solutions to the problems that the user is facing, Storyboards can help in understanding those problems and bring proper solutions.

What is Storyboarding?

A storyboard is a way of pictorially organizing a story that shows a sequence of events. They  tell a story and illustrate the process and experience of an event that sometimes are hard to explain through words. It’s a concept credited to Walt Disney studios in the 1930s which they used to visualize the sequence of a plot. In UX, storyboarding allows us to walk through the user journey, similar to user journey mapping where we uncover insights about the different scenarios in which users may find themselves interacting with the product.

Storyboarding in UX

Stories help designers to deliver information in the following aspects:

  • Visualization: Illustrating a picture helps people to understand it more than anything else.
  • Memorability: Stories are 22 times more memorable than plain facts.
  • Empathy: As human beings, we often empathize with characters who have challenges similar to our own real-life ones.
  • Engagement: Stories help get users’ attention and engage themselves in it.

Need for Storyboarding

If you are already using user journeys to understand the project/product flow, you may wonder why creating a storyboard is important.

Visual impact

Images in a storyboard can prove to be more impactful as compared to text / a script. It will be easier for the project stakeholders to visualize the product/platform and make decisions based on this.

Engagement

A UX storyboard focuses on user scenarios and issues, similar to journeys. But since it does so in an engaging visual form, people can emotionally relate to it easily.

Helps users memorize the flow better

Storyboards let us grasp the platform flows and issues in one glance.

How to create Storyboards?

Creating a storyboard is a step-by-step process a Designer needs to follow.

Understand: The first and foremost step is that the user needs to understand his user’s journey. Interact with the user and collect the data relevant that will guide you to develop the right product for the user.

Choose the right one: Choose the story that connects the most to your product, problem, or solution to create a storyboard.

Focusing on plot steps: Assemble the list of events, problems, and solutions occurring during the story and write them down step by step dividing them into 3 sections- beginning, middle, and end.

Identify user’s emotions: Add emotions to the plot steps which the user might experience in the plot steps.

Representation: Final step is to represent the story in a pictorial form and add notes to the drawings if further details or explanations are needed.

When should we storyboard?

You may think, do storyboards even suit my product/requirement? We have answered the ‘Why’, let us see the ‘When’ aspect of this. So when should we create a storyboard?

New project discovery phase

When a new project commences, it is recommended to create a visual workflow. Storyboarding summarizes and explains the requirements in the form of existing user stories and issues thoroughly. Once the user interviews or field research is done, it can also help to summarize the project/product findings concisely.

When the product is being built

Based on the data gathered from user testing, A/B testing, market and competitor analysis, interviews, and analytics, we can model the storyboards with crisp, concise flows. We can refer to both, existing or developing products for this use case.

As different teams collaborate and find new solutions for the users, storyboards are a great mechanism to ensure that everyone’s vision is aligned and that the team is constantly thinking about user experience while the product is being developed.

Conclusion

Storyboards communicate a complete concept by conceptualizing and creating visualizations for user interactions. They use the art of the narrative to focus on a personal experience of using the intended application. Storyboard development is a very effective way to prototype your service concept.

Do read our other blogs on User Experience here!