Methods for Architecting Structure

... Investigating Goals

... Analyzing Requirements

... Architecting Structure

  > Storyboarding

  > User Environment Design

  > Task Analysis

  > Card Sorting

... Prototyping Layout

... Testing Interfaces


Storyboarding gives a pictorial view of the user's process for accomplishing their goal.  Sketched at a high-level, the team can pose questions to the storyboard (akin to a cartoon sequence), get feedback from stakeholders, and give programmers a rough view of the use cases involved in developing that design.Alison storyboards a set of user actions with the software.


This collaborative technique allows the design team to illustrate their vision for the step-by-step experience of an ideal system. The steps are drawn out in cartoon form, with each "cell" or frameshot sketched to show how the user will interact with all the people and information involved in their work. By way of example, movie producers always sketch their entire vision for the movie, scene-by-scene, as a reference for setting up each shot while filming, so that they can keep track of the larger perspective while dealing with the details during production.

By the time the team is ready for storyboarding, they have become intimately familiar with the issues facing workflow for real users, all users, affected by this system. So, HCI principles recommend that teams go through the processes of Contextual Design before developing storyboards. This includes Contextual Inquiry, Model Consolidation and Affinity Sorting.


Drawings of the entire user experience, from start to finish, will be posted on the wall for close reference during the remainder stages of detailed system design. Those phases include developing the User Experience Design and Paper Prototyping.


Storyboarding is a team activity that deserves two sessions (to give everyone a chance to reflect on their first draft ideas).  Each session would last 2-3 hours.