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Storyboarding csa2013 - Simple sketching for UX, user research & content strategy
 

Storyboarding csa2013 - Simple sketching for UX, user research & content strategy

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"On the Same Page: Simple Sketching for Collaboration, User Research, and Content Strategy

"On the Same Page: Simple Sketching for Collaboration, User Research, and Content Strategy

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  • Hi, I'm Deb Aoki. By day, I'm a content strategist at eBay, which is a fancy way of saying that I write a lot of text you see on eBay: headlines, body copy, button/interaction text, error messages and emails. My job is to try to write web content that's clear, straightforward and friendly.\
  • But I also have another life: I draw comics. Throughout high school and college, I drew comics for my friends, then for my high school and college newspapers, then for various "alternative" newspapers, then eventually a "mainstream" newspaper, The Honolulu Advertiser, which is now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. My comic strip Bento Box has been featured in The Advertiser since 1996.
  • I'm also a semi-professional nerd. I write about manga (Japanese comics) for About.com.
  • For many years, my day job has been mostly about writing – I've worked at Microsoft/MSN, Ogilvy and Mather, Kaiser Permanente, Disney Store, Citysearch and Art.com, mostly as a web / marketing writer. Drawing was just something fun I did on the side.
  • Then in 2007, I started work at eBay. That's where I found out that my super-fun, kinda-nerdy hobby of drawing comics could be useful in my day-to-day work in the user experience design.
  • To brainstorm ideas – or to refine conceptsBelieve it or not, eBay did not have a shopping cart on our site for many years. We have a lot of different sellers, that each accept different payment methods, offer different shipping options, and on and on. It was so complicated that several teams tried several times to do it, and gave up. So we had a bunch of brainstorming sessions to try to wrap our heads around the problem and possible solutions – and sketching was a big part of getting everyone on the same page.
  • Then in 2007, I started work at eBay. That's where I found out that my super-fun, kinda-nerdy hobby of drawing comics could be useful in my day-to-day work in the user experience design.
  • Here's why storyboarding can be more effective than just dry powerpoint decks with pie charts, bulletpoints and screenshots:
  • Focuses on our users' needs. It reminds us that what we do / what we make impacts PEOPLE (our users), vs. just focusing on nitpicking page design, or focusing too much on the what our technology can/can't deliver, or what makes $ for the business. It communicates ideas quickly and powerfully. Pictures can convey ideas more concisely than just text. Pictures also inspires people to chime in / participate because they’re playful / not “final” ideasUniversally understandable - Pictures can make information easier to digest, especially when you're presenting to people for whom English is not their first language.Faster and cheaper than coding - Drawing offers a quick way to hash out ideas and get rough concepts in front of users, rather than designing detailed page mockups/wireframes, or wrestling code to create clickable prototypes for testing.
  • There are a couple of different ways we use drawing/storyboarding at eBay:
  • To brainstorm ideas – or to refine conceptsBelieve it or not, eBay did not have a shopping cart on our site for many years. We have a lot of different sellers, that each accept different payment methods, offer different shipping options, and on and on. It was so complicated that several teams tried several times to do it, and gave up. So we had a bunch of brainstorming sessions to try to wrap our heads around the problem and possible solutions – and sketching was a big part of getting everyone on the same page.
  • Brainstorming: user personas - Another way I use sketching is to create quick user personas – to put a face on the different types of people who use eBay. What they like / don’t like about eBay, what they do on eBay, what they buy or sell on eBay, and what frustrates them about eBay.
  • Brainstorming: user personas - Another way I use sketching is to create quick user personas – to put a face on the different types of people who use eBay. What they like / don’t like about eBay, what they do on eBay, what they buy or sell on eBay, and what frustrates them about eBay.
  • Refine concepts - Two years ago, our product team wanted to explore new ways to buy on eBay. We brainstormed and came up with several concepts – then narrowed it down to six ideas that we liked the most. I then did sketches of quick walk-through of each of the ideas, then we narrowed it down to four that we put in front of users to see their reactions.
  • Paint a big picture – shopping cartThis shows the buyers’ shopping ‘journey’ – as they go from ‘just browsing’ to ‘let me throw my money at you, eBay!” I wanted to show where the various pages were on the ‘intent to buy’ spectrum, and how things like merchandising and promotions can distract a user at that moment when they are ready to buy.
  • Paint a big picture – Thanksgiving 2012We did this about… 2 years ago. We had a lot of new projects / improvements on our product roadmap, but eBay being eBay, a lot of times, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. That is, everyone focuses on their own project and doesn’t see how it impacts users as a whole. The story was about an eBay employee who goes home for Thanksgiving dinner, and gets bombarded with questions and complaints from his relatives about eBay. Then we pick up the story 2 years later, when he returns for Thanksgiving, and all his relatives tell him about their recent good experiences shopping on eBay. Everyone’s happy except the skeptical uncle… who comes around by the end of the story.The artwork was converted to vector format, so it could be blown up, and the monochrome characters were laid out over the color pages, so they’d pop.
  • How it works: Green BoxGreen box is a program where eBay teams up with the USPS to offer sturdy, reusable boxes to sellers that are delivered to the seller, then later returned to the post office, or simply used again.This diagram uses the red boxes to show the seller’s part of the process, the blue boxes illustrate the buyer’s role, and the green arrows and box show the progress of the box.We used this diagram to show at a glance how the product would work at a new product idea fair. The idea won the top prize that year, and was eventually made into a real product at eBay.
  • Illustrate pain points: shopping cartOne unique aspect of using a shopping cart on eBay is that many of the items on sale are one-of-a-kind, or available in very limited quantities. But we also couldn’t reserve items if someone put it in their cart – the items had to remain available to other buyers. So I used the metaphor of someone going tot the supermarket to buy cereal – he puts the cereal in his cart, then he remembers he needs milk. So while he’s looking at his milk, someone snatches his cereal away and buys it before he does. Illustrating the problem by using everyday, non-website situations really helped us to see how these situations would be really frustrating to users.
  • Illustrate pain points: too many buttonsOne thing that happens in eBay is that we offer our users a lot of different ways to buy something or save it for later. So one of the by-products of that is a page with a lot of buttons!Quite often, we design based on what our one improvement/change would look like on the site – but often, we don’t take into account the cumulative effect of many changes made by many teams to the same page.This page was part of a story about a user who hears about a cool thermostat, then tries to go to eBay to buy it – and along the way, is confronted with a dizzying array of choices.
  • Sell an idea – Student accountsThis is a one-page summary of an idea presented at another new product fair. It’s kind of crowded, but it explains the how, why and how it works of this particular product in one page.
  • Sell an idea – Student accountsThis is a one-page summary of an idea presented at another new product fair. It’s kind of crowded, but it explains the how, why and how it works of this particular product in one page.
  • Test a concept – Group GiftsThis was part of a series of four concepts for holiday promotions that we put in front of focus groups in the US and UK. Rather than have them look at page mocks, we drew stories that showed real life situations where people would use the product and why. To our surprise, this particular concept, group gifts ended up being the idea that resonated best with users. They could see themselves doing the things shown in the storyboard – that’s something that wouldn’t have been as immediately apparent or understandable to the users if we just showed them a series of page mock-ups.
  • Test a concept – Go TogetherThis was another early concept we put in front of users that helped determine the development of this product.In this case, Go Together was geared to make it easier for friends to buy tickets for a concert or sports event as a group, and get seats together, and get reimbursed easily. We couldn’t decide if it would make more sense to have the primary ticket buyer buy the tickets first, and then try to get reimbursed later, or to wait to get the monies first before buying the tickets. These quick illustrations of the pros and cons of each scenario were put in front of users who were asked which tradeoffs (pay first/worry about being reimbursed later vs. get reimbursed first, then buy tickets later) made the most sense to them.
  • There are a couple of different ways we use drawing/storyboarding at eBay:
  • The five rangers! The red one is always the leader, the blue one is the quiet but effective 2nd in command. Yellow ranger is the comic relief. Green ranger is the young, eager one, while pink ranger is always the chick. ShotaroIshinomori tapped into the simple language of color to convey different personalities.
  • Use color in your sketching to convey different concepts. For example, I use red for emphasis or error conditions, green = money, success / happy paths, etc.
  • Brainstorm / sketchUsually, the first thing I do when I get asked to do a visualization/storyboarding project is get the key people in the room, and start brainstorming and sketching. At this point, my sketches are often very rough because it’s more important that I do it quickly and capture the ideas.
  • Write a scriptAfter narrowing down the scenarios that need to be illustrated, I work on a script. Sometimes I’ll use storyboard sheets with blocks / lines for written text to block out the scenes.It often helps for me to draw it out too, since there’s a limit to what you can cram into one panel – and that’s not always apparent when you write what you think will fit in a panel. I try to keep it to one idea per panel.
  • Draw rough sketchesOnce I have a sense of the story, then I rough out what the panels will look like. The artwork is a little more finished than it was at the brainstorm stage, but not quite polished – this lets people know that they can still feel free to offer comments / suggestions for changes w/o feeling like they’re making me “go back to the drawing board.”
  • Feedback / finalizeI always allow for a lot of back and forth to make sure that the story reads smoothly and is as concise and clear as possible.
  • Adapt to vector art or vertical/geographical variationsDepending on how the illustrations/storyboards will be used, I’ll sometimes do variations.For example, if it’s going to be blown up into large-scale/poster-sized presentations, then I’ll adapt the illustrations into vector line art with Illustrator.Other types of variations can include adapting the story for different verticals (fashion, tech, motors) or different geographies (europe, asia, etc.)

Storyboarding csa2013 - Simple sketching for UX, user research & content strategy Storyboarding csa2013 - Simple sketching for UX, user research & content strategy Presentation Transcript

  • ON THE SAME PAGE simple sketching and storyboarding for collaboration, research, & content strategy DEB AOKI sr. information experience designer, citrix October 18, 2013
  • HELLO. UX Design + Content Strategy + Comics + Manga Nerd = Deb Aoki
  • I LOVE COMICS. I READ COMICS. I DRAW COMICS. • Bento Box in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser 3
  • I WRITE ABOUT COMICS TOO. 4
  • MEANWHILE, MOST OF MY JOBS WERE ABOUT WRITING FOR THE WEB 5
  • THEN I GOT A JOB AT… 6
  • And suddenly, my drawing skills came in handy again. 7
  • NOW I‟M AT… I still write, but now I mostly draw. …which is pretty awesome 8
  • PICTURES > WORDS WHY WRITE WHEN YOU CAN DRAW IT INSTEAD?
  • WHY DRAW PICTURES? • Pictures can communicate abstract ideas and user experiences quickly and powerfully • Focuses on users‟ needs and problems, rather than on design, business, or technology concerns or limitations • Faster and cheaper than coding clickable prototypes or designing wireframes, or polished page mock-ups • Can provide a „big picture‟ perspective of the entire user experience, goals & messaging • It‟s fun! And it encourages participation and informal discussions 10
  • HOW CAN SKETCHING HELP WITH CONTENT STRATEGY? I‟M GLAD YOU ASKED! HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES
  • BRAINSTORM IDEAS: shopping cart PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 12
  • BRAINSTORM IDEAS: user personas PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 13
  • BRAINSTORM IDEAS: framing problems & goals PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 14
  • REFINE CONCEPTS : holiday buzz PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 15
  • PAINT A “BIG PICTURE”: shopping cart PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 16
  • PAINT A “BIG PICTURE”: thanksgiving 2012 PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 17
  • EXPLAIN HOW IT WORKS: green box user flows PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 18
  • ILLUSTRATE PAIN POINTS: shopping cart PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 19
  • ILLUSTRATE PAIN POINTS: too many buttons PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 20
  • SELL AN IDEA: citrix simply giving campaign PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 21
  • SELL AN IDEA: student accounts PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 22
  • TEST A CONCEPT: group gifts PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 23
  • TEST A CONCEPT: go together PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 24
  • „BUT I CAN‟T DRAW‟ If you can draw dots, circles, squares and lines, you can draw. Yes, you can!
  • CIRCLE + SQUARE + DOTS + LINES = PEOPLE! PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 26
  • ADD A FEW TWEAKS = DIFFERENT PEOPLE PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 27
  • CIRCLE + DOTS + LINES = FACES AND EMOTIONS PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 28
  • WORD BALLOONS… WITHOUT WORDS PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 29
  • CONNECT CONCEPTS WITH LINES Direct connection / action Tentative action Convoluted path Bouncing PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 30
  • DRAW COMMON CONCEPTS IN A FEW STROKES idea lock / security listen time money cloud smartphone laptop NO! fast slow email 31
  • DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES OF USER INTERACTION CLOSE-UP Emphasis on screen/finger interaction MID-TORSO Emphasis on screen SEMI-CLOSE Emphasis on device / human context/use FULL BODY Emphasis on „real world‟ context/place of use PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 32
  • USE COLOR TO CONVEY DIFFERENT EMOTIONS / CONCEPTS / PERSONALITIES PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 33
  • USE COLOR TO CONVEY DIFFERENT EMOTIONS / CONCEPTS / PERSONALITIES BLACK – Most important info / facts GREY – Secondary info / tentative RED – important / error / danger / stop GREEN – success / money / nature / go BLUE – calm / cool / water / sky / masculine ORANGE – cheerful / hot / caution PINK – fun / playful / youthful / feminine PURPLE – regal / sophisticated / serious BROWN – earthy / simple / dirty YELLOW – bright / accents / hard to read as text PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 34
  • AS YOU DRAW, ASK THESE QUESTIONS: • • • • • • • • • • • • Who is the user/customer? What‟s the problem that we‟re solving for the user? How are we making their lives better/easier/simpler/happier? What are they trying to do / What do they want to do? What‟s most important to them? What do they need to know? Why would they click the button / download / sign up? What‟s in it for them? (benefits) How is this different/better than similar services/experiences from other companies? (differentiators) Does the user have any fears/obstacles? What if something goes wrong? What can they do to fix things? What will they see next? / What will happen? PICTURES > WORDS: STORYBOARDING AT EBAY 35
  • 5 STEPS FOR DRAWING STORYBOARDS Brainstorm > Script > Sketch > Finalize > Adapt
  • STEP 1: BRAINSTORM IDEAS / SKETCH 37
  • STEP 2: WRITE A SCRIPT 38
  • STEP 3: DRAW ROUGH SKETCHES 39
  • STEP 4: GET FEEDBACK / FINALIZE ART 40
  • STEP 5: ADAPT VECTOR LINE ART OR VARIATIONS 41
  • QUESTIONS? THANK YOU! EMAIL: DEBORA.AOKI@CITRIX.COM TWITTER: @DEBAOKI ALSO AT: HTTP://WWW.MANGACOMICSMANGA.COM