Storyboarding can strengthen the user experience elements of your designs, and software for building prototypes from those sketches can be an invaluable tool.
Because my heart goes out to anyone who is learning to draw, I’m sharing this embarrassing moment from my sketchbook. On the left, my Picasso-esque woman is a freehand sketch, straight out of my head. (A Psychologist could have a field day with it!) On the right, what you see is the result of quickly grabbing a reference — in this case, some practice sketches I’d done*– and in less time with more confidence, I created a non-Cubist image of a woman that I’m pretty happy with.
When I started design school, I was horrified to find that they expected me to draw. Looking back, the biggest hurdle was overcoming the unwritten rules I’d picked up in grade school. I remember there was always one kid who could draw something like a dragon freehand. Part of the definition of “being able to draw” was freehand; no tracing, no reference photos, just single lovely swoops creating a perfect replica on the first try. Luckily, in one of my first design classes, those beliefs were swept away when my instructor said: “What would be the point in that? You don’t get extra points for doing it the hard way.” So reach for tracing paper, do an image search, cut and paste to your heart’s content.
Hope that helps!
*The practice sketches came from Modern Cartooning by Christopher Hart. It’s a great guide that I’ve found especially helpful in creating Storyboards. And, it’s just a heck of a lot of fun!
Storyboarding is also catching on fast as a practice in experience design, because of the way it can combine so many disparate elements — such as personas and their behaviours, requirements and solutions — to achieve those ‘a-HA’ moments we want from team members and clients.
The exercises outlined below force you to get ideas out of your head and onto paper, without getting stuck feeling like they have to be finished or perfect.
If one can move away from the outdated convention that interaction designers create screens, towards what Bill Buxton calls the stuff “in between the screens”, then it doesn’t take long to realize that larger workspaces are the way to go.
It’s often somehow overlooked, but user flows MUST be user-focused. When we introduce design elements that focus on business needs over user needs, we distract the user, or much worse, lose them completely.
Traditional user testing limits the pool of users you can choose from, takes a lot of money to set up, and eats up your precious time. But remote user testing can save you from this complicated mess.
Use this list to find some of the most popular and useful user testing tools to get you on the way to usability testing. You will be able to see how a user will interact with the website, allowing you to make necessary improvements based on the feedback.