Jump to content
Storyboard technique for software projects
Submitted by Adam Musial-Bright
Posted Feb 19 2011 11:37 AM
Storytelling is a powerful way to discover, understand and plan any kind of products and services. Let's say you are planing to develop a whiteboard application, where you can manage all sort of information on simple stickies, which you virtually attach to you whiteboard. Sounds rather straight forward, doesn't it?
Thinking about how people get ideas and when or in which situation they would like to put a stickie on the whiteboard is not defined in a specification paper. And you can not really figure out these moments.
Creating a storyboard - yes, like for a movie (a common technique in Design Thinking) can help you to discover these moments. When do you get good ideas? Is it on the way to work? Earlier - at the breakfast? Maybe while brushing your teeth or after a dream?
Well, it is individual for sure. But trying to put this moment on a storyboard gives you an idea, not only when but also in what situation. If it is on a subway an you want to take a note, a laptop is just not right - has to be a smartphone or something similar.
Ok, so you have an idea that you want to put on a stickie and hang up on a virtual board. Using your phone will not be the same as using a laptop. The screen size and UI controls are different. But there is also something else: we not talking about typing something on your mobile sitting comfortably in your living room - we are in a subway full of people and you are standing up. Not much typing precision here. It has to be simple and quick.
It is very hard to plan everything prior to implementation. And even if you start to implement your project and plan to stay open minded for changes - which will definitely come - with a storyboard technique it is possible to tell a story without any distraction and limitation by a programming language, tools or system you need to use during the actual product implementation.
Personally, i prefer to use drawings - it feels very real and inspiring. A written story, even a short movie or any other technique will do, too - whatever you or your team prefer. I recommend to try it in the next, maybe smaller, project you have to work on, so you can see how effective you or your team become and how much fun it is.
Finally, I would like to give an example how a storyboard might look like. This is the first page of our whiteboard project:
Alternative solution by aaron sherman
Posted Sep 10 2012 05:43 PM
This a wonderful technique that is starting to emerge. (Shameless plug) Storyboard that (www.storyboardthat.com was designed from the ground up to help people rapidly create storyboards explaining how a product could be used before development starts.