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I was wondering what is the difference between a storyboard and moodboard? I thought storyboads were only for movies and animation but apparently they use them in the ux field. Or do people just call moodboards, storyboards as well?

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Storyboard

A storyboard is used in UX to illustrate a sequence or flow of events.

  • Usually this means a flow of screens (e.g. login, then home page, then create post page, then submit post, etc).
  • But storyboards are also used to illustrate behavioral and business flows (e.g. for a restaurant app, a behavioral storyboard might include I want to go on a dinner date, Pull up an app, Narrow a search, Select a restaurant, etc). This behavioral storyboard can then be used to design an application with a UX.

Example UX storyboard (note the sequential flow):

storyboard


Mood board

A mood board is not used as often in UX. Unlike storyboards, which are always ordered in narrative or sub-narrative flows, mood boards are only loosely organized. Mood boards are used to capture and cluster creative ideas very quickly. These ideas can range over many topics, but may include:

  • Actual screenshots and wireframes
  • Color palettes
  • Creative inspiration (photographs, videos, etc)
  • Emotional inputs and outputs
  • Comparable and competitive applications
  • And many others.

Example mood board (note the informal clustering of different topics):

enter image description here

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I personally use moodboards to gather inspirational images, notes, etc. as a part of the very early brainstorming stage. Storyboards are exactly like you said, they are used to convey sequential pieces of information.

For example, I would use a moodboard to collaborate with a client so that we both have an understanding of the direction that the particular design is moving towards. Then I would use a storyboard to demonstrate a potential user's workflow.

I don't think it matters though, so long as you have a process that works for you!

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