Day 73 — Storyboarding

Building the skeleton for tomorrow’s prototyping session

Today’s Rating:

I made 1 simple change from yesterday to today: I avoided social media. Lately I’ve been distracting myself way too much with LinkedIn, Instagram and a bunch of other pointless news sites that aren’t getting us to our goals. Time will tell, but today I felt way more focused and energized.


SKIPPED — 10 a.m.

Divide winners from “maybe-laters.” Move the sketches with supervotes together. (p. 141)

Rumble or all-in-one. Decide if the winners can fit into one prototype, or if conflicting ideas require two or three competing prototypes in a Rumble. (p. 145)

Fake brand names. If you’re doing a Rumble, use a Note-and-Vote to choose fake brand names. (p. 145)

Note-and-Vote. Use this technique whenever you need to quickly gather ideas from the group and narrow down to a decision. Ask people to write ideas individually, then list them on a whiteboard, vote, and let the Decider pick the winner. (p. 146)

  • Note: I skipped all these steps. Some things are just faster flying solo. Definitely a must-do if you’re in a group for building consensus.

10 AM

  1. Draw a grid. About fifteen squares on a whiteboard. (p. 152)
  2. Choose an opening scene. Think of how customers normally encounter your product or service. Keep your opening scene simple: web search, magazine article, store shelf, etc. (p. 153)
  3. Fill out the storyboard. Move existing sketches to the storyboard when you can. Draw when you can’t, but don’t write together. Include just enough detail to help the team prototype on Thursday. When in doubt, take risks. The finished story should be five to fifteen steps. (p. 154)
  • The goal of the storyboard is to answer all the open questions I’ll need to build tomorrow’s prototype (think today’s storyboard is the design; tomorrow is the implementation).
  • When I’ve done storyboarding before, it’s always felt really clunky. Well, thanks to this video, that changed. Rather than starting with 15 blank squares, I started with 6 steps and outlined the key activities users will do (see blue sticky notes in the picture below).
  • The other tip that was really useful was to “avoid bringing in new ideas.” While designing the storyboard, I kept wanting to overload the idea with new ideas, but instead I stayed focused.
  • The rest of the storyboarding went pretty smooth — there’s just something so valuable to getting something down and iterating as you go.
  • Here’s the result:
The storyboard I’ll use to build the prototype

6 PM

  • The 2nd main deliverable I created today was the interview script. I relied on old scripts and the script from the Google Ventures site.
  • Here’s the result (if you want access request it here.)
The Interview Guide for Friday

Tomorrow: Build the Prototype!

Startup founder surviving in his parent’s basement.