Best PracticesStoryboarding

8 e-learning storyboarding tips for manufacturers

Clear communication through your storyboard can save development time and will be greatly appreciated by your programmer

A storyboard is like a map you hand over to a developer to produce your eLearning module. Since you won’t be sitting at their side throughout the development process you need to make your map as clear and readable to a developer as possible.

Your storyboard doesn’t have to be pretty; it just needs to be thought-out, clear and well-marked.

Following are 8 tips to clarify the communication process through your storyboards, so your developer can work as efficiently as possible:

  1. Start with a flowchart
    A simple flowchart can save a lot of headaches and phone calls about what menu items lead to where, etc. especially if your program has a lot of branching and quizzing. It is an instant visual framework for the developer to follow.
  1. Title every page
    Even if this title does not appear on the final program, it is better not to rely on slide numbers in your storyboard since slide numbers change once you start adding and deleting slides later on.
  1. Label navigation
    If there are buttons on the page, indicate what happens when the user clicks them. This is where titling every page comes in handy.
  1. Refer to your media by file name
    For each picture, audio file, video file, pdf, etc refer to these items by file name. Remember, your developer does not know your product or process and will be wasting time tracking down “a picture of a C150 ScanTech” when he or she is not sure what one looks like.
  1. Communicate the style guide
    Something as simple as adding type can be time consuming, even when your developer is cutting and pasting from the storyboard. If your graphic look is ready to go, adding specifications for fonts, sizes and colors  (at least on the first page) will save your developer time by getting it right, upfront.
  1. Provide clear, detailed instructions and resource materials
    Avoid vague instructions that make your developer hunt down old emails, files, last year’s program or try to recall phone conversations. (i.e.  “make the changes we discussed earlier” “make this page like the old program” etc.)
  1. Spell out timing and navigation
    Is there an order of appearance or sequence of animation? Does the user have to trigger anything? Does the program pause until user to clicks “Next”?
  1. Show it to someone else
    Choose this person wisely, of course, but it is worth it to put your storyboard in front of a second set of eyes and ask, “Does this make sense?”

Please share any storyboarding tips that you may have below.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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  1. August 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    I find that including references for media and graphics are great if multiple persons are working on the module. Also, it is important to include theory and standards for each screen used to make sure each screen is necessary and to show how it contributes to transfer of learning. These notes make the learning of high quality and lean. if something is used or not used for disability compliance, it should be included as well. It takes a little extra time but really worth it. It also allows for a little team development. Great article.

    • Ron Trilling
      August 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm — Reply

      Thanks for your addition and insight. I feel he more detail, the better when it comes to storyboarding.

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