Storyboards help visualize UX ideas. Visual representations of UX stories capture attention, provide clarity, and inspire us to take action.

Storytelling plays a large role in our job as UX professionals. A story captures attention, provides clarity, and inspires teams and stakeholders to take action. There are many ways to visually communicate stories to our teams and stakeholders, including UX stories, Storyboards, Customer Journey Mapping, and Empathy Mapping.

In the world of UX, we use storyboards to provide additional context to our teams and stakeholders. Using images makes the story quick to understand and easy to remember.

Components of a Storyboard

There are always 3 common storyboard elements, regardless of form: a specific scenario, visuals, and corresponding captions.

1. Scenario

Storyboards are based on a scenario or a user story. The persona or role corresponding to that scenario is specified at the top of the storyboard. A short text description of the scenario is also included. The description of the scenario or story is clear enough that a team member or stakeholder could understand what is depicted before looking at the visuals. For example, The corporate buyer, James, needs to replenish office supplies.

2. Visuals

Each step in the scenario is represented visually in a sequence. The steps can be sketches, illustrations, or photos. Depending on the purpose of the storyboard and its audience, these images can be quick, low-fidelity drawings or elaborate, high-fidelity artifacts. Images include details relevant to the story, such as what the user’s environment looks like, speech bubbles with quotes from the user, or a sketch of the screen with which the user is interacting.

3. Captions

Each visual has a corresponding caption. The caption describes the user’s actions, environment, emotional state, device, etc. Because the image is the primary content in a storyboard, captions are concise and don’t typically exceed two bullet points.

Process: How to Create a Storyboard

How storyboards fit within the UX design process, and the steps needed to make a successful storyboard to visualize a workflow, customer journey, or user story.