Website Design 101 – Storyboarding
November 15, 2016
Last week our Website Design 101 series took a look at how you can go about creating the concept that will underpin your website design, while also examining some of the key issues that you need to consider as you undergo the process.
Now that you have your concepts firmly in place it’s time to take the first steps towards realising them. However, before you can bring them to life on your computer screen, it pays to create a few mock-ups of what you want to general look and flow of the website to look like. This is a process called storyboarding and many consider it essential to the website design process.
What Is Storyboarding?
For many, storyboarding is a key aspect of the design process, be it for websites, cartoons or television shows. In website design it’s basically a set of rough sketches that give you a basic outline of what your website is going to look like and allows you to get an early picture of how it may flow together, without having to commit any money to actual development costs at such an early stage.
Many companies choose to storyboard on their own, presenting their ideas to their website designers at a later date and working on them to adjust the storyboard until they reach a workable design. Others choose to work directly with their website designers from the off or even leave the storyboarding process in their hands so they can come up with something based on the concepts that were developed earlier.
It really is up to you. The better the concept stage the more detailed your storyboards are likely to be.
How Much Detail Is Needed?
Your storyboards are generally not the place where you need to come up with the actual content for the website. Images and content itself can be create later. This means that general wireframe sketches detailing the positioning of certain elements of the site it really all that’s needed to get you started.
Some companies do like to go a little further though and many website designers offer storyboarding services that use digital techniques to provide a more accurate picture of how the site will actually look on the screen. Again, these will usually use stock images and dummy text at first. The key is getting a visual on how the concepts you came up with earlier all link together.
Why Is It Useful?
Some people skip storyboarding, but it has a number of uses. It is an early indication of how well your concepts will gel together once they are implemented into a physical design, meaning you get to spot issues with navigation or combinations of elements fairly early on.
This can save a lot of money too, as finding these problems at such an early stage means you don’t have to deal with them once the website design process has started. It’s far quicker to change a storyboard than it is to make alterations to a website design, after all.
The Final Word
So that gives you a little more insight into storyboarding. Ideally you will achieve the following during the process:
- Create a visual representation of your concepts
- Get an idea of how the various elements of your site will link together
- Spot potential issues as they arise
- Give yourself a wireframe to work from with the main design
Next week we will look at finding the right website designer for your project as part of the Website Design 101 series.