Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Few Practical Tips on Storyboarding

When I peruse my blog stats it always amazes me that my storyboarding posts are some of the most visited and my storyboard template has been downloaded far more than expected. I guess the practical things are the most valuable. Since there is such interest in storyboarding I thought I would follow-up and offer a few more practical tips on creating and using storyboards.

  • Determine who you are making storyboards for. Are they for:
    - your client and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME),
    - developers you are handing the project off to,
    - your own use, or
    - a combination of the aforementioned.
    This will determine how detailed they should be, the technical information you need to include, and how "rough" they can be. For example, storyboards that are for my sole use are sketched out in pencil and the notes are to a level of detail that suits my own needs. If for a developer, obviously I would add far more technical detail and content, for a SME it would focus more on the content and I may leave out technical specifications, etc.

  • Put storyboards up on a wall. This is the best way to get the feel for the course's flow and how well it is, or is not, designed. Keeping them on the wall is also a constant reminder of the project, keeping you looking at it, and will call out to your coworkers to take a look and provide feedback.

  • Play with the storyboards. I write mine in pencil just for that reason. Once you read them over there will be many improvements that jump out at you. Make the changes and see how they work on the storyboards.

  • Don't feel you have to stick to the storyboards. Sometimes what works on paper just does not translate well on the Internet. Also, at times the technology, resources, or time just does not allow exactly what is written on the storyboards  to happen. We often discover this during the development phase. Note: Whatever sacrifices you make do not make them at the cost of learning.

  • Include good notes on navigation and orientation. Even properly arranged on the wall, a non-linear course's storyboards can become confusing without good notes on which link/button goes to which screen or event.

  • Storyboards never do the final product justice. They are only representations and cannot fully capture the rich interactivity of the course. Be patient with them and remind anyone involved with the storyboards that they are an initial design and they will get an even better feel for the final product when it comes to life in the coming online drafts.


If you have additional storyboarding tips, please share them in the comments section. Thanks!

Here are past storyboard posts:

Storyboard Templates and Resources

It Came From Hollywood - Storyboarding

Need a Storyboard? Heres a Place to Get Them

To Storyboard or Not to Storyboard

2 comments:

  1. Kika,

    Thank you for referring me to this resource. I will definitely explore it and see where it may fit in the free eLearning Courses page.

    Jeff

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  2. Kika,

    I just added the IP Game on the free e-learning page. Its a great game and I learned quite a bit about trademarking in the EU and the OHIM. Thanks again for sharing.
    http://oami.europa.eu/T4TGame/ohim/inicio.html

    Jeff

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