Storyboarding Rich Internet Applications with Visio (29 Nov 2005)
These tools provide a way to extend a common wireframe design tool, Visio, to support a technique for storyboarding wireframes. The storyboard metaphor is a simple concept to grasp. As we demonstrated designs to our Product Marketing teams at Sabre we received complimentary remarks about how much easier it was to understand interactions documented with storyboards; this made it simple to spot issues very early in the design phases.
A nice touch is to walk through the storyboard scenarios recording the animation with a video capture tool. The video can then be distributed to other groups and customers for early feedback on the interaction design with no instructions needed for walking through scenarios.
At Sabre, we were able to demonstrate for an important customer very complex application interfaces simulating in-page process flows, drag and drop, and rich data interaction. The interface we demonstrated had actually gone through several rewrites in previous years with less than satisfactory results.
Using the Visio storyboarding techniques outlined here we were able to present three iterations of the interface in a span of a few weeks. The final walkthrough was a success, with the client very happy with the new proposed interface. Additionally, their comments were extremely positive about being able to see and participate in the design at the earliest phases.
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