In user experience design there are several go to techniques. Research is key to help designers collect valuable information about their users, whether is a workshop, focus groups or testing sessions. The way of communicating solutions is always through personas and wireframes. But, in order to really get into the mind of a user/buyer it is crucial to understand how their lives are and how they can be improved, and what engraves more than stories. Stories have been present since the beginning of times and they embody every detail and emotion, this is why storyboarding can be the best tool for UX design.
Storyboarding is an animated way to illustrate a story. In the early 1930s, Webb Smith was creating the first storyboard. At Walt Disney Studios, this animator drew scenes on separate sheets of paper and pasted then on a board in order to tell a story in sequence. Essentially, a storyboard is a graphic illustration of a story, representing each situation with added notes about what is going on in a particular moment.
As images are known to be more memorable than words, stories are a better way to tell a story, to put a face to technical data and be able to experience what users see, to build empathy and reach them emotionally. For this reason, storyboarding is an effective and inexpensive way to explore and attain experiences during the design process. Storyboarding in UX design can help predict the user´s experience with a product or service. It helps understand how a user would navigate through an interaction. A great feature of storyboarding is that every team member gets to pitch in and contribute, giving a fresh perspective of a scene.
In order to create a visual presentation of a story, there needs to be segmentation and preparation to make them logical and understandable. To make the story powerful and convincing, there are few elements that should never be missed:
-Character/Persona: Needs, behavior and appearance. Revealing what goes through your character´s mind is essential to convey their experience.
-Scenario: Environment where the character is. What are they doing? Where? Who is involved?
-Plot: Should be build with a structure in mind. Plot should start with a conflict, showing how the solution being pitched will help the character overcome it. Is always best to link emotions to each action and situation that generated these emotions.
Storyboarding is key to help understand what drives a user behavior. This tool is very powerful to create products and services users choose and feel identified with. A good experience is always a good story.