Storyboarding in the product development process. <br />
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05.8.15

Show, Don’t Tell – Why We Storyboard in the Concept Development Process

You know the look, the “I have no idea what you are talking about” look on your coworker’s face as you explain a new idea or product concept. It’s not your fault; the majority of people are visual learners, meaning they won’t fully grasp something until they see it. The good news is that there are a number of tricks for putting pen to paper, many of which are possible even for those without years of sketching experience. Here are three reasons we favor the storyboard as a means to visually explain a concept.

Storyboard_01

Illustrates an idea within the context of the bigger picture
Storyboarding is storytelling. We often sketch products for our clients, but a storyboard goes far beyond the actual product to examine the entire user experience. It describes the problem, illustrates the process and concludes with solutions and benefits—happily ever after. At the same time, a storyboard helps separate concepts from details. It’s easy to get caught up in things like material finishes and colors, but a storyboard keeps the focus on the big picture.

Storyboard_02
Allows for valuable input early in the development cycle
Sketching a storyboard is a low-risk activity; nothing is permanent, which naturally invites constructive feedback from everyone involved in the decision making process. When a course correction is needed, it’s easy to sketch revisions, rather than spending hours reformatting digital assets.

Storyboard_03

Promotes understanding and buy-in from multiple stakeholders
Storyboards provide a common visual language that people from different backgrounds can see and easily understand; if done correctly, no technical degrees are required. Since storyboards speak to a broad audience, they are an effective tool for pitching investors, applying for grants, seeking FDA approval and/or obtaining internal buy-in from colleagues.

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