A storyboard is a sketch that organizes a story and helps to plan a media production. For linear products like videos, a storyboard shows the exact order of pictures and sounds as seen and heard in the planned product. Ideally, the setup for each shot can be derived from the storyboard. For nonlinear products like websites, a storyboard groups content into logical parts and divides it among different media and user paths.


When to use it

Whenever you want to design a story that includes a visual layer.

Video (film, animation, stop motion, documentary)
Whenever you plan to make a video, you should definitely create a storyboard. A good storyboard helps you share your vision for the video with others who are involved in the process. It ensures that everyone is on the same page. It will save you time in the long run because you can consult your storyboard for all production planning purposes (e.g. which angles of a scene you will shoot).

Events (presentation, facilitation)
You can use a storyboard to organize information into a logical and compelling order and develop a storyline for your presentation. Write all your ideas down on post-it notes and arrange them in a way that makes sense, then find suitable ways to present the story.

Interactive media (websites, apps, page flows)

natalieviolet interactivephoto


Nonlinear stories ask for a storyboard that doesn’t group content chronologically but divides it into different logical parts, e.g.:

  • A lead or nut paragraph, essentially addressing why this story is important
  • Profiles of the main person or people in the story
  • The event or situation
  • Any process or how something works
  • Pros and cons
  • The history of the event or situation
  • Other related issues raised by the story

How to use it

There are different kinds of storyboards for different types of media. The following description is the one for film and video, which is the medium most commonly associated with storyboards.

The script is the basis on which you will draw your storyboard. The script defines the concept and form of the content, including the lines of the actors or the voice-over text.

Blank space
Create a series of squares on a piece of paper or download a template. Think of these squares as the video frame. In each square, a different shot or scene will take place. Leave plenty of space next to or beneath the squares for lines from the script and notes.

Add script
Copy the lines or voice-over text from your script into your storyboard and add notes about what is happening in the scene (e.g. movements, actions).


Storyboard for Pixar’s Brave (2012)

Disney’s Mulan

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