Websites and applications have evolved to be more advanced and complicated. To give users a better experience the UX design is becoming the most significant phase of the entire design process.
An experienced designer is already familiar with the research techniques used to gather user information such as workshops and interviews. User findings are part of stories and process flows, whereas communication flows through personalities and wireframes. The reason for doing all this research is to make sure that people whom you build the design for have the best product.
The idea of a storyboard will come in when you want to make a product better by understanding what the user wants in their own language. Creating the UX storyboard makes the user’s life better.
What is a Storyboard?
Any illustration that is used to represent part of a whole story is what UX designers refer to as storyboards. The drawings will flow in one direction to give a clear picture of the entire story. In the movie industry, the idea of storyboards was readily available in the 1920s to help the producers and directors come up with the structure of the film even before actual production.
A UX storyboard is a powerful tool that enables the delivery of information through:
Visualization: the use of pictures to underline a message is the best-known way to communicate an idea. Images will outline the message more clearly than words. The missing parts of the message not seen in words are clear when you use an image.
Memorability: remembering a story is not difficult compared to the same story told in words.
Engagement: a storyboard will capture your attention and will leave you attached to it. Humans are always eager to respond to a storyboard because of the innate curiosity that pushes us to engage with the UX storyboard.
Empathy: a storyboard relays the idea that you can see, feel, and relate to. When designers have an opportunity to meet users with similar challenges as theirs, they will have to empathize with them by giving what they can use.
Storyboards in the UX Design Context
A UX storyboard is a tool that will help you visualize and explore user experience as they interact with the product. For the designers, it is more like using your own product and trying to visualize how others will use it too. This line of reasoning helps you to come to terms how users will flow with the product the moment they set eyes on it. Knowing all these gives a clear perception of what will make your narrative strong.
What is the Role of Storyboards in UX?
A storyboard is the easiest and the cheapest means to capture, relate and explore different user experiences throughout the design process. You will realize the following benefits if you relate storyboard and the UX design process.
Human-centered Approach in Design
You will be able to create stories that put the human perspective on analytical data. Storyboards are solution carriers that designers use to imagine themselves as users when thinking of how to find a resolution. Designers can also understand the existing environment by testing hypotheses of every possible scenario.
Contribution and Criticism
Since all members of the design team can present their ideas as part of the team, they also have an opportunity to critique other propositions. The movie scenario can explain an analogy where every scene is put to a debate by the production team before moving to the next stages.
The use of UX storyboard inspires innovative designs that bring all team members towards a similar thinking approach and get a clear picture of what is to be designed.
To create a storyboard, you need to rely on an iterative approach. During the sketching of ideas used in design concepts, testing during experimentation should not be costly. It is also difficult to be attached to sketches that are only rough sketches and done within a short time.
How to Create Your Storyboard
When you have the responsibility of creating the UX storyboard, you need to focus on your ability (or inability) to draw. Storyboarding does not require the skills of an artist to come up with a satisfactory storyboard that tells the correct story.
Working on the Story Structure
As you prepare to make a visual representation of stories that communicate to others, you need an understandable, logical, and convincing line of argument. Once you have broken down the story to its fundamental blocks, it can be presented more powerfully and persuasively. The storyboard should have the following key elements:
Character: this is the person involved in the story. You define them by their behaviors, appearance, and expectations. All the decisions the person makes along the way are very valuable. Sharing what you have in mind is essential to the completion of the illustrations of user experience in the storyboard.
Scene: Scene is the environment the person in charge of design finds himself. The scene setting involves places and people expected to use the program.
Plot: the plot is an explanation of the backstory that you should not ignore by jumping straight into explaining the design. The storyboard must have a structure with a beginning, the middle, and the end. The narrative that is coming out of the plot should focus on the goal of the character. Before you reach the benefit because of using the solution, the plot should have a trigger before it ends.
To make the storyboard more powerful, here are some pointers:
As long as you make the character, the user’s goal and the events taking place during their interactions clear then you are on the safe side. The users will note any written material that is out of context with the product. Therefore, maintain focus on real humans to gain empathy from the users.
Any design extras that do not add to the value of the design should not be part of the design. It does not matter how beautiful the story looks like, as long as it does not add up, remove it.
Bringing out the emotional state of your character during communication through the UX storyboard design is essential.
Using Storyboard to Illustrate Experience
People face challenges when they are supposed to come up with a convincing storyboard. The guideline given below should help you come up with better storyboard scenarios:
- Break the story into different components such that the character ends up with either the benefit or the problem
- Add life to your storyboard using emoticons for every step to help others understand your feelings. Reactions such as success and pain at this stage should be part of the story.
- Translate each into a storyboard frame by showing empathy on every step by imagining how the character is feeling about it.
- Your storyboard should leave the audience with a clear perception of the design outcome. For example, a description of a bad situation means ending with the cause of the problem and if you are ending with a solution presentation, highlight its benefits.
We are done!
Designing a UX storyboard is not easy, but it will eventually work. Using visual presentations to explain a design process gives the story to life. As a designer use the storyboard as much as you, can to ease the design process