Storyboard

Storyboard Template

Unlock your customer's journey with the Storyboard Template. Imagine different scenarios and improve your product or service.

About the Storyboard Template

Storyboarding is a technique that's traditionally used to plan the scenes in a movie, TV show, or commercial, but in recent years it's gained popularity in the business world. You can use the Storyboard Template to imagine various scenarios and visualize how a customer/user will think, feel, and act.

Keep reading to know more about the Storyboard Template.

What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a sequence of illustrations that are used to develop a story. Traditionally, animators and designers have used storyboarding to design scenes for television, video games, or movies. But many businesses now use storyboarding to understand and map customer experiences. Storyboarding is instrumental for aligning your team, pitching an idea, understanding the customer journey, and much more.

When should you use the Storyboard Template?

You can use the Storyboard Template anytime you'd like to really put yourself in a customer or user's position and understand how they think, feel, and act. This tactic can be especially useful when you know there's a problem or inefficiency with an existing process. You can even go one step further and create a user storyboard. Another alternative is to storyboard how things are now and how you'd like them to be in the future. Before launching a new product, feature, or service, you might also want to storyboard to anticipate what is likely to happen.

Origins of the storyboard

There are differing opinions over who created the storyboard depending on the source you reference. Among the first pioneers of storyboarding was film director, Howard Hughes in the 1930 film ‘Hell’s Angels’. Others suggest that it was Georges Méliès, often considered the father of special effects, who first used a form of storyboarding and pre-production illustrations to visualize scenes. 

However, perhaps the most recognized contributor to the rise of storyboards in film was Walt Disney. The first storyboards at Disney were story sketches that were reminiscent of comic books. Animator, Webb Smith, who worked for Disney was also credited as being the first person to illustrate scenes per page and pin them to a board in a story’s sequence. The Disney studio then became the first to create a story department after realizing its importance and distinction from the animation department. It was clear that having a cohesive story was important for the audience. 

Within a matter of years, all studios followed suit in having a story department and using storyboards. Storyboarding became widely regarded as an important part of a film’s creative process and this remains true today. Since then, the storyboard has become more widely used outside of the film industry as a powerful visual tool for illustrating narratives. It has also evolved from handwritten illustrations to online tools such as Miro’s Storyboarding Template. 

Storyboard use cases

As mentioned, the uses for storyboarding have grown beyond film and television. Storyboards are now also used as a graphical tool in business, software development, and even educational settings. Here are a few examples of where you might see storyboarding.

  • UX: storyboards are often used by user experience professionals to get a better understanding of the scenarios that their users will encounter and experience. 

  • Business: the exact focus may differ depending on the team (marketing, advertising, branding, etc.) but if a customer’s journey needs to be better understood and presented to clients or stakeholders, storyboarding can be a compelling tool. 

  • Education: storyboarding is a lesser-known teaching technique. A storyboard template can be given to students to outline their creative ideas and narratives. This can then be presented to the class. This can be easily done on paper or using online tools and is an inexpensive activity. 

  • Film: the most widely known uses for storyboards are in films where it all began. Storyboarding is an important part of the creative process for visualizing scenes in the pre-production stages. Outlining everything beforehand can reduce costs down the line by reducing the chance of having to make changes.  

  • Theatre: It may be surprising to hear but storyboards are used in theatre production. In a similar way to film, playwrights or theatre directors want to visualize the layout of a scene. 

  • Novel-writing: authors and writers make use of storyboards to plan out scenes within chapters or across a book. Having a storyboard makes it easier to understand how different parts of the story fit together. Scenes and events can also be easily reorganized using storyboarding. 

There are many uses for storyboarding that have emerged since storyboarding became an essential part of the filmmaking process. The above list is not exhaustive and certainly, we can expect to see storyboarding find its place in even more fields in the future as its usefulness is discovered. 

Storyboarding methods

The biggest misconception about storyboarding is that it should be detailed and reflect how a scene should look as if it were the finished product. This is the furthest from the truth. To simply things, there are two main methods that can be used for storyboarding and there are benefits and drawbacks to each. 

1. Hand-drawn or illustrated. Storyboarding done by hand doesn’t need to be a work of art. It can be simple sketching. The benefit of this method is that it’s quick and easy to create. It's also inexpensive. However, there are a few drawbacks to illustrating your own storyboards by hand. They can’t be edited and changed very easily. It is also not as simple to share a hand-drawn storyboard with your team and make changes unless you come together and workshop it. 

2. Using online tools or software. In recent years, online storyboarding tools have become the preferred method for creating storyboards. Virtual storyboarding gives teams more flexibility in the creation and revision stages. It also opens up a world of possibilities for collaboration, both in workshopping storyboards in real-time and working asynchronously. You will also have access to images across the web to speed up the process. Some dedicated storyboarding software can be expensive but this is not the case for all online storyboarding tools. 

How do you write a storyboard for a product?

Start with our pre-made Storyboard Template, making any changes you'd like to suit your particular needs.

Here below you can see some of the steps you can take to write a Storyboard for a product with Miro's template:

1. Set the main actor of your storyboard

Discuss with your team who is the main actor of your story. Think of the personas you want to target with your product or business and try to describe their scenario, their needs and key activities. Add details and context to your main actor.

2. Map out your storyboard journey

Draw the journey of your main actor, from what triggered them to discover your product to the end of their experience. Sketch all moments that lead the actor from the initial struggling moment to their happy ending. Show how your solution helps them get there. Add details in each step with the following information: who, where, and what.

3. Understand the main actor

After you mapped out your actor's journey, it's time to understand how they feel. Is your actor happy? Are their struggles over? Can you visualize how was their journey and draw insights?

Invite team members to join your board and collaborate. Use the @mention or video chat if you need to get input from others. You can upload other file types such as documents, photos, videos, and PDFs to store all the relevant information in one place.

The benefits of the Storyboard Template

The major benefit of using a Storyboard Template is to empathize with your customers. Storyboarding empowers you to get inside your customers’ heads. What are their challenges? What needs are you filling? What could you do better? How could you make their lives easier? By drawing out your customers’ interaction with your products or services, you can better understand how to reach them.

Another advantage when storyboarding is that you can easily map the customer journey. For many organizations, the customer journey can feel like a black box. They log onto your site...and then what? They open your app...and then what? Use the Storyboard Template to dig into your customers’ step-by-step experience of your product or service, and find your customers’ most meaningful moments. Once you've mapped the customer journey, you can drill down and find your customers’ most impactful interactions with your product. That helps you ensure they're getting the most delightful and efficient experience possible.

Last but not least, uncover your customer journey gaps. Just as you can uncover your customers’ meaningful moments, you can also discover any gaps in your product or service. Is there something that your customers might want but that you do not provide? Is there a missing element or step that would improve their experience? Storyboarding can sharpen and clarify these points.

Storyboard example

Let's say you have an online shop and want a younger audience to get to know your service and products. A storyboard helps you draw a scenario where your target audience interacts with your product in the most realistic way. To create this storyboard, you will need to deep dive into your audience's behaviors and goals and uncover their needs and how they feel about online shopping.

After you have a detailed profile of this younger customer, incorporate the customer journey into your storyboard and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What characteristics do they have that might influence how they interact with your shop?

  • What do they value in an online shop?

  • What problems do they have that your shop could solve?

  • What are their goals, and how could your service help them achieve them?

The storyboard might not answer all these questions, but it can point you in the right direction when building a customer flow designed for this specific user.

Another tip when using the Storyboard Template is to let your imagination flow! Get inspired by other storyboard examples (we have a few in our Miroverse), and don't forget to ask your current customers how they feel about your product. Share your Storyboard Template with your team, get instant feedback, and iterate when necessary.

FAQ about the Storyboard template

What is a storyboard in UX design?

Storyboards in UX design use a narrative or story to communicate concepts and show user interactions. It's a way to bring a more human-centered approach to the product or service, moving beyond the functional view and gathering more insights into the user problem and experience.

What are the key elements of a storyboard?

When creating a storyboard, you should pay attention to the scenario you have your customer inserted in, giving more details such as context, key actions, pain points, goals, and needs. After you build a scenario, you can develop the storyboard and map out your customer journey describing what triggers this individual and their actions during the discovery of your product.

Storyboard Template

Get started with this template right now.

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