Storyboarding — the act of visually scripting how a story unfolds — was first used by the Walt Disney Studio in the production of its 1933 "Three Little Pigs" short. Since then, it's become an invaluable part of the pre-production process for virtually every piece of media we consume today, from films and documentaries to TV shows and advertisements. Given the fact that a website is one of the longest lasting, highest touchpoint marketing materials a company has, the importance of website storyboarding cannot be overstated.
To be clear, when it comes to storyboarding your website, I don't suggest doing so in the traditional Hollywood sense (i.e. sketching different real-life scenes of a user navigating through your website, much like you would when illustrating a customer journey). Instead, you should use storyboarding to identify and organize the key messages you want to get across and/or the key experiences you want visitors to have on your website.
When used in this manner, storyboarding doesn't just make the website production process easier — it allows you to take advantage of the following four key benefits.
Website storyboarding reveals the precise order in which your company's narrative (and opportunity) should be presented, allowing you to lay out information in a more engaging, logical way. Remember, your website is a story unto itself — and nobody wants to waste their time with a poorly structured, rambling story.
Website storyboarding puts your company's key messages and experiences right in front of your face — literally. Not only does this make it much easier to map out all of your site's user flows (i.e. buy a t-shirt, get a free quote, download an investor presentation), but it helps you ensure that you're directing people to the right places at the right time, a core tenet of lead conversion.
Once you know how you're going to tell your company's story, you'll have a pretty good idea of the kind of art assets you'll need to tell it effectively. For example, there might be a section where you could use a GIF to explain how your technology works, or perhaps an illustration to demonstrate the benefits of your product. Knowing what kind of art assets you need is crucial in estimating your website's final cost.
While revisions are inevitable in any creative endeavour, website storyboarding can minimize future edits by providing stakeholders with an opportunity to agree on the site's direction.
By understanding how to storyboard a website, companies can simplify the website production process, get their key messages across in a more effective way, and most importantly of all — do their story justice.