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What are the pros and cons related to storyboarding, as compared to other approaches for gaining an understanding of the problem space?

I'm particularly interested in storyboarding scenarios without necessarily showing the UI, to be used in the very early phase, for visualizing ideas. This would involve showing the context the user is in, how they use different services (without going deeply in the UI design), and demonstrate the user experience, emotions and benefits at each stage.

  • Please provide some more context. Are you storyboarding a user story or user flow? Are you and/or your team working in digital or analogue? What is the goal of the storyboard? If you update your question, I can hopefully help :-) – SwankyLegg Aug 6 '14 at 19:16
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    Requests for products are unsuitable for a Q&A site because they have no one correct answer and quickly become outdated. Please edit your question to ask for a solution to a specific problem that you hope to solve with this product. For example, you could research existing storyboarding tools and then ask a question about one of the key differentiators you see between them (not specific to the tools). – Graham Herrli Aug 6 '14 at 20:08
  • @SwankyLegg I added some more detail, let me know if it is still not clear enough, and I will add some more! I'm particularly looking at the beginning of the process, where you don't want the solution to be too tied into a particular UI design yet. An example could be that the customer has a problem, and we demonstrate what kinds of service(s) could be used to solve it .. with mapping the desired user experience to each stage. From the tools perspective, I'm particularly interested in tools that allow you to visualize the scenarios – Skuirrel Aug 6 '14 at 21:44
  • @3nafish, I tried to make the question less of a "recommend a tool" format, however, would be still great to get some ideas what tools would be worth checking out (but perhaps it will come as a side product). Please let me know if you think the description should be still imporoved. – Skuirrel Aug 6 '14 at 21:45
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I use storyboarding a lot especially on an early, conceptual phase. Other methodologies I use are: acting out (very good for getting design insights), flow diagrams (very technical, good for communicating with developers or business people about the technicalities but does not communicate emotions or the concept. It is more about the application than the effect.)

for storyboarding, we could talk about methodologies in here:

  • Acting out photos: Fun and enables acting out which gives more insights. But need good photos which are hard to make. Requires more resources than illustration for C level presentations; can be practical for design process. Also, more suitable for representing the emotional effect of a product.
  • Drawing /Illustration: Time needed depends on the level of skill of course. Ypu can detail the whole or a specific interaction as deep as you want.

I am sure there will be many more methods used.

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