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User Experience Design
Home > Assignments > User experience design (storyboards)

The goal is to design a user's experience related to the design opportunities for the course project.

This graded activity will allow you to refine your loose ideation sketching skills while crafting a storyboard that describes your proposed user experience.

A storyboard is a series of panels that depict key scenes, actions, visuals, and annotations that define the highlights of a user experience. Imagine a comic strip with explanations adjacent to each panel (e.g., see this example for an applications called iLost and iFound, by Beth Kun).

According to wikipedia, storyboarding was developed by animators at Walt Disney studio. Storyboarding is now applied to the design of almost any user experience, ranging from movies, to games, to consumer products, to instructional design. Sketching a storyboard before using software to make presentation slides, even when preparing technical presentations or a thesis defense, is an effective and efficient way to design a clear, understandable experience for your audience. The course instructor uses storyboards when developing class lectures (hopefully your knowledge of this does not undermine the perceived value of storyboarding!).

In addition to developing a storyboard, you will also have the opportunity to practice idea generation techniques with your team, and apply lessons from your user-experience analysis, which is underway simultaneously.

To start
Review the project brief materials to refresh your memory.

Have a product idea brainstorming session (or multiple sessions) with your project team to enumerate experience ideas for the project. Don't think of an entire story. like 20,000 leagues under the sea, for example. Think of discrete experiences that might resolve within a single "room" of a 5wits experience. The experiences might be a sci-fi related challenge, simulation to create the illusion of a time, place or event, or a special effect.

Focus on how the user will use/interact/experience the gag/idea rather than details of it's embodiment/implementation.

Document the results of the brainstorming activities so that each team member can individually use the brainstorming materials to develop their own user-experience storyboards.

Generate user-experience storyboard alternatives
Using the team brainstorming as raw material, work as an individual to explore, in storyboard form, a number of alternative user experiences. Each team member will independently work on their own storyboards. You might want to keep 5wits guidelines for a successful interactive experience in mind.

A few template variations for thumbnail storyboards may be helpful (style1, style2, style3). The space above each panel is for a caption while the space below allows you to add explanatory annotations.

If you are having trouble with human figures in your story board, you can always take pictures of small wooden mannequins and use prints as underlays. A number of pictures in different poses are available for this purpose.

Prepare your submission
Pick your top storyboard and prepare it as a web pages(s) for submission. Prepare the materials in a professional, easy to read format. Some examples from a previous year are online (example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5, example 6).

Information on web-authoring software is provided in the human-use experience analysis description. There is also a multimedia software facility on campus.

Please see the submission instructions for additional tips. See the assignment results!