Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Website Storyboarding

by Cody Sparks

After going through the Website Brainstorming process, you have found a solid topic and sub-categories. Now it is time to start storyboarding your website. Why Storyboard a Website? Website Storyboarding will make the development process easier and more efficient. This will save you either time and/or money. Storyboarding your website will help you see the end result of your project.

Storyboard Your Design & Usability

When doing your storyboard you should have one statement in mind. How can I make this design pleasurable and usable? You want your design to be fresh and exciting. On the other side of the scale you need it to be simple and very user friendly.

Surfing Is Not a Waste of Time

One way to get some ideas going is to surf the internet. Find webpages that you like and webpages that you hate. When you find some webpages that you love, ask yourself why? Does it look good, do you like the colors, or maybe you like how the navigation works? Whatever it is, document it. Write is down so you don't forget. These can be the building blocks to your success website. Now your bad webpages, is it hard to read, navigation, usability or is it another flash site that has cool animations but doesn't have good content. Write down the bad things of the bad webpages. This is your stop sign list so you don't make the same mistakes.

Website Storyboarding

When finding some building blocks get a sheet of paper and start to draw your website. Start with Homepage. The Homepage is the most important page. You have 5 seconds to get attract someone to your website and surf through it. If it is hard to use, nobody is going to use it. Make it simple. When you have your first storyboard done, try to think like a first time visitor to your webpage. Would you stop and look and would you click on a link. If you say Yes, then you're on the right track. You can quickly draw a basic building block in a couple of seconds.

Keep Consistency

The next webpages will be easier. Keep the website consistent with all your pages. Don't change your navigation between pages. Find a place to put it and leave it there. Keep things Simple. When you have a couple of pages, pick one. Say to yourself, if I was here, how would I get back to the Homepage? Maybe you are at the homepage. How would I get to one of your content pages? Try to make this a one simple answer.

Build a Sitemap

When you have an idea of what your website is going to look like you can take it further and make a sitemap. A sitemap is a breakdown of how your website will flow. From home page, to category, to sub-category.

This Technique Saves Time

When finding out how to storyboard your website and navigate through it. This can save you lots of time and money. It takes a few minutes to draw something up. If you were to develop the code for it, it could take you an hour. Take your time on this. It could make your website very simple, enjoyable and become successful. Or it could cause confusion, frustration and not be successful. Remember Keep It Simple.

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