Product management glosary


What is Storyboarding?

Storyboarding is a visual representation of a product's user experience, illustrating the sequence of events or interactions a user goes through while using the product. It is a powerful tool used by product managers, designers, and developers to communicate ideas, identify potential issues, and ensure a consistent user experience. Storyboarding is often used in the early stages of product development to help stakeholders understand and visualize the product's functionality and flow before any coding or design work begins.

Why is Storyboarding Important?

Storyboarding is important for several reasons:

  • Visualizing the user experience: Storyboarding helps the team visualize the user's journey through the product, making it easier to identify potential pain points and areas for improvement.
  • Collaboration and communication: Creating a storyboard fosters collaboration and communication among team members, as it provides a common visual language to discuss ideas and concepts.
  • Efficiency: By identifying potential issues and gaps in the user experience early in the development process, storyboarding can save time and resources by reducing the need for extensive revisions later on.
  • Consistency: A storyboard ensures that all team members are on the same page regarding the product's functionality and flow, leading to a more consistent user experience.

How to Create a Storyboard

Creating a storyboard involves the following steps:

  1. Define the user journey: Start by outlining the user's journey through the product, including the key steps and interactions they will experience. This can be done by creating a list or flowchart of the main actions and decisions the user will make.
  2. Sketch the scenes: For each step in the user journey, create a rough sketch or wireframe of the screen or interface the user will interact with. This can be done using pen and paper, digital drawing tools, or specialized wireframing software.
  3. Add annotations: Include notes or annotations to explain the purpose of each screen, interaction, or element in the storyboard. This helps to provide context and clarity for team members who may not be familiar with the product's functionality.
  4. Review and refine: Share the storyboard with stakeholders and team members for feedback and input. Make any necessary revisions to ensure the storyboard accurately represents the intended user experience.
  5. Iterate: As the product development process progresses, continue to update and refine the storyboard to reflect any changes or new insights.

Storyboarding Best Practices

When creating a storyboard, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Keep it simple: Focus on the key interactions and elements of the user experience, rather than trying to include every possible detail.
  • Use a consistent visual style: Choose a visual style for your storyboard that is easy to understand and maintain throughout the entire document.
  • Involve the team: Encourage collaboration and input from team members throughout the storyboarding process to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the product's functionality and user experience.
  • Be flexible: Remember that a storyboard is a living document that will evolve and change throughout the product development process. Be open to making revisions and updates as needed.

In conclusion, storyboarding is a valuable tool for product managers, designers, and developers to visualize and communicate the user experience of a product. By following best practices and involving the entire team in the process, storyboarding can lead to a more efficient development process and a more consistent, well-designed product.