In today’s tech-savvy world, most people have a computer or at least a smartphone with an internet connection. They browse content in the form of text, images, audio and video. According to a survey by HubSpot, respondents spent around 1.5 hours per day watching videos. As a designer or developer, marketing your brand is important and one way is with the help of videos. If you are able to tap the potential of video marketing then it will directly impact the growth of your website and clientele by means of increasing traffic. Videos, after all, have the power to persuade people to purchase a product, if presented in a pleasing manner. However, before the product is designed or it is live, it needs to be imagined and storyboarding is one of the ways that helps you achieve this.
In this article, I’ll walk you through what Storyboarding is, its benefits and tools to bring your ideas to life.
Let’s start with what Storyboarding is
Storyboarding in simple words is a graphic representation of how your story unfolds to an observer. It is made up of a set of squares with pictures or sketches on a blank sheet of paper with empty rectangles representing a situation about what’s happening during a product planning stage, video shot, animation, website development etc. The situation mainly depends on what you’re using storyboarding to represent or plan.
Why is Storyboarding important?
- Visual Imagery and Vision:
Irrespective of the business you have, storyboarding helps you put your idea on paper and gives you something more tangible in terms of its look, feel and behaviour. It helps in gathering feedback from peers. What this means is, you can get feedback by showing a visual representation of your idea in the form of a sketch, wireframe etc. This also helps you in shaping the flow of the execution of your ideas so that you stay on track.
As a web designer or a developer, storyboarding helps you get a sense of how the website you design will look and interact with users before the idea is formally designed and developed. Or if you deal with animation or tech videos to educate your users, storyboarding helps you plan how the video flows before producing it.
Though storyboards take a lot of time to design, they help add clarity and simplicity to the process of executing an idea. Thus, when the time comes to execute the idea you know exactly how to move ahead and what to avoid.
As a web designer or a developer, your product is mainly the website you’re designing. Storyboarding helps you keep a track of your design and lets you know about the progress you’ve made. This enables you to decrease errors, boost quality and eventually saves time which would otherwise have gone into reworking and replanning.
- Makes Planning Easier:
Another place where storyboarding can help you is to plan and manage the budget of your product before the final release.
As a web designer or a developer, if you’re developing a site or an app for a client then it means a lot of back and forth interaction between you and the client. If the idea is discussed without a proper diagram or layout it could adversely affect both the quality and the cost of execution. Storyboarding, in this case, would help you and your client envision the final output such that it doesn’t affect the next phase of design and development. Thus, making planning easier.
Now that we’ve seen the importance of storyboarding let us looks at some of the ways you can create a Storyboard.
The simplest way to create a storyboard is to make it in a template. Before making the final storyboard in the form of a wireframe diagram/presentation/video/layout etc it is important to sketch out the template on paper.
The first task is to create blank rectangles on a sheet of paper and make sure to leave empty space below to add text. Post creation of this, add your text and then eventually sketch the storyboard.
As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons to make a storyboard. As a web designer, if along with designing your website you deal with creating animation and videos then apart from sketching the storyboard there are also various softwares to help you create it.
In this section, we will cover 3 softwares to help you create a video storyboard:
Storyboarder is a free and open source software. This software is simple, versatile and can be used by artists, advertisers, writers, directors etc. It has a clean interface and is easy to understand. It is ideal for users who are new to storyboarding and it’s easy to draw characters and shapes as well as write the script, enter timing and specify how to frame a subject.
Another aspect of Storyboarder is that it works in collaboration with Photoshop. It allows you to export your board to Avid editor, pdf, animated gif, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut.
Plot is a freemium software that helps you to create a storyboard in a quick and efficient manner. One feature of Plot is that it helps you create and delete scenes easily and allows you to include pictures to help visualization easier. Plot makes team collaboration easier especially in times of strict deadlines.
Studiobinder is another freemium software that helps you in easy visualization of your project. It incorporates Project Management features making team collaboration easier. One feature is that it allows you to preview your project before finalizing it. Studiobinder is a good professional software used widely by professional TV and film management.
Storyboarding may look like a tedious and time-consuming aspect of presenting the information, however, it is important as it helps you not only visualize your goals but also envisage the ideas for your stakeholders. So what are you waiting for! Go make your own storyboard now for planning your projects and goals.
If you have any queries or suggestions feel free to drop them in the comment box below.