To create an intuitive website design, UX designers need to do a lot of research like conducting interviews, watching latest trends, and doing competitor analysis to understand what’s going on in the users’ world and how to make their life better.
This is where storyboard comes into the picture.
What is a Storyboard?
A storyboard is basically a linear sequence of illustrations put together to visualize a story.
The storyboard was first created (and also popularized) by Walt Disney Studio in the early 1920s. Disney animators used sketches of frames to create the world of the film before actually building it.
Storyboarding in Website Design
Storyboarding has now become an internal part of the website design process. Storyboard basically helps UX designers to get a sense of how the website will look and behave before it’s been released.
In laymen’s terms, the Storyboarding process helps to visually predict and explore a user’s interaction with a website.
As a result, it gives a better picture of what’s really important to users and streamlines the website design and development process, while saving time and money along the way.
Importance of Storyboarding in Website Design
A compelling story, as you might already know, is the most powerful tool to catch people’s attention draw them towards a particular thing, be it a website, product, or brand.
Simply put, a storyboard will help to deliver information in its most powerful form through the following ways:
- Visualization A picture is worth a thousand words. And by illustrating a user’s flow through storyboarding will add an extra layer of meaning.
- Empathy Storyboarding helps to connect more closely with the users by imbuing challenges similar to our real-life ones.
- Engagement Compelling stories draw the most attention. We human beings are just hardwired to respond to stories that relate ourselves. This, in turn, automatically generates more curiosity among users and helps to engage them better.
- Memorability A story is 22x more memorable than written facts.
As a result of all these attributes, it gives the following benefits to UX designers:
Benefits of Storyboarding in Website Design
- Helps to Create Human-Centered Design Storyboarding helps UX designers to put people at the heart of the website design process. This, in turn, helps them to create a more human-centered design.
- Helps to Prioritize What’s Important Storyboarding reveals what a UX designer shouldn’t spend his time on. Thanks to this, they can cut out almost all unimportant work and really focus on only what’s important to catch users’ attention.
- Storyboarding is all about “Pitch & Critique” Storyboarding is a team activity in which everyone (not just UX designers) on the team can pitch different ideas. And similar to the film industry, each member of the team can raise critiques.This approach, as a result, encourages collaboration, which ultimately sparks better design concepts.
- Forces to Focus on User Flow Storyboarding is believed to be the best tool to walk the shoes of the users and see a website or product in a similar fashion. This helps UX designers to understand the current scenario from users’ point of view and also allows to test hypotheses of potential scenarios.
Key Points to Remember While Creating Storyboards
To get the most out of the storyboarding process, you need to take the following things into account.
- Clarity The first and the most important thing in a storyboard is to make a character as clear as possible and what happens in their experience - the outcome. The ideal way to create a storyboard is to start by communicating users’ existing problem and then present a solution that makes users’ life better.
- Authenticity When creating the storyboard, be sure to honor the real experience of your target users. If you’re designing a storyboard that doesn’t really relate to the users, then it won’t bring much value to your website. Therefore, focus on creating the storyboard as realistic as possible to receive the best possible outcome.
- Simplicity Your storyboard needs to be as simple as possible. Every single detail, therefore, must be reviewed carefully and unnecessary extras should be cut out from the beginning. Simply put, if a design element doesn’t add value to the overall website, no matter how good it may be, just remove it.
- Emotion Emotion is the heart of the storyboarding. Therefore, you must include communicating the emotional state of your users throughout their experience.
With so many points to remember, creating storyboards might seem like an impossible or a time-consuming task.
But as Dieter Rams, a famous industrial designer, once said, “You cannot create a good design if you don’t understand people; Design is made for people.”
Using storyboarding in website design will help you better understand the users you’re designing for, and as you do that, you’ll see more people connecting with your business or brand through your website design and boosting conversions as a result.